Tipalti Study Identifies Compensation Issues as Threat to Creator Economy Success


Creators cite lack of fair compensation and reliability as challenges to industry growth

Tipalti, the leading automated global payables solution, today released a new study on the future of the Creator Economy and the challenges creators face as the industry matures. According to a survey of 750 creators from the U.S. and U.K., while a majority of people would like to pursue content creation as a full-time job, industry challenges such as being fairly and quickly paid for their work prevent them from doing so, which may ultimately impact the industry’s ability to scale.

The global Creator Economy is valued at over $104 billion, with nearly 50 million people identifying as creators. Content creators are navigating one of the most complex economic environments of our time in an industry bereft with growing pains: specifically, how creators are compensated fairly for their work. Tipalti’s report, conducted in partnership with Wakefield Research, identified that creators are optimistic for the future and see growth within their industry over the next five years, but there are common impediments to true prosperity that need to be addressed.

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In the next five years, content creators predict growth within their industry.

Many content creators are optimistic about the maturation of the Creator Economy, anticipating an increased appetite for content and the professionalization of the space.

  • More than a quarter of creators (26%) are leaving a 9-5 job to focus on creating content full-time.
  • When asked about continued growth expectations within the industry, more than 2 in 5 creators (42%) predict companies will directly hire more content creators in the next five years, and 40% predict more people will start their own practice in the same time frame.
  • Nearly 2 in 5 (39%) predict content creators will establish professional associations to represent their interests, and 38% predict more graduates will pursue content creation as a career.

However, the Creator Economy risks stagnation if it does not address key concerns, including compensation.

While the desire to turn content creation into a full-time gig is there for most creators, major roadblocks are preventing them from making that a reality. The inability to get paid easily is holding back creators and ultimately impacting growth of the creator economy.

  • The majority of creators (90%) have experienced issues just getting paid.
  • 41% have increased their rate to compensate for the late or incorrect paychecks hassle and 36% have had to hire someone to handle business-related tasks.
  • More than two thirds (70%) of creators agree that administrative tasks such as invoicing and payment prevents them from creating content for a living.
  • Nearly 83% of creators are less than completely confident in handling necessary, but complicated administrative tasks entirely on their own.
  • More than a third (35%) of content creators predict more people will leave the industry because they can’t make enough money.

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The industry needs to identify and incorporate solutions to help creators and streamline experiences.
Organizations working with content creators risk losing talent and brands risk losing content creators due to negative experiences. Ease of use, security, and timeliness are critical to creators as the industry continues to grow. Businesses that offer automated solutions will be able to better capitalize on the opportunities the Creator Economy offers by allowing their creators to focus on content, not admin.

  • Nearly 3 in 4 (72%) creators who earn revenue for content other than that which they create for their employer say automatic payments are important to growing their business.
  • The biggest obstacles creators face when dealing with getting paid include receiving payments from multiple platforms (30%); the time required for invoicing, tracking payments and resolving payment disputes (33%); being uncertain on how to fully monetize it (32%); and the tax implications of setting up a side business (32%).
  • When it comes to choosing a payment platform, the most common “must-have” is secure payments: it is the top requirement for more than 1 in 5 content creators (21%) and in the top three for 50%.
  • On-time payments is the second biggest requirement, with 47% of content creators listing it in their top three.

“With Covid and the Great Resignation, more and more people started to look at content creation as more than just a side-gig and saw the potential for it to be a full-time job. However, more than 80% of content creators surveyed identified they are not confident they can handle invoicing and payments on their own, stopping them from making the full-time leap into the Creator Economy,” said Paco Sure, GM of Global Partner Payments at Tipalti. “Now’s the time for the platforms that creators work with to invest in modern automated payable solutions to alleviate these concerns for creators and ensure the Creator Economy continues to grow rapidly.”

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