Linktree Releases Creator Report Showcasing State of Online Creation Today

What is the world of online creation like? Linktree is offering what they found across a multitude of platforms.

The Bill C-11 debate is continuing to drag on. Lawmakers have regularly tried to pretend that they know pretty much all there is to know about content creation. More often then not, they really have no clue what they are even talking about.

One part of the fundamental misunderstanding is the nature of content creation today. We’ve said from time to time that the Internet is a massive ocean of content. It really puts more traditional mediums to shame in terms of not only quantity, but quality as well. Of course, it’s not really a surprise that the Internet has such a massive volume of content. No one is asking for a resume and a content portfolio just to allow you to get started. The barrier of entry really is just an Internet connection and the ability to make content. There was a time when the ability to create content was massively cost prohibitive, but not any more.

So, unsurprisingly, the result is a massive explosion in content creation. If you have an idea of what you want to create, you can just do it. It can be all for nothing and just a fun little excursion in the online world or it can turn you into a multimillionaire. You really have no idea what will and won’t work until you actually try.

Another unsurprising aspect is the fact that the audiences followed close behind. Television, for instance, is heavily driven to narrow down the kind of content that is available on respective services. If it doesn’t resonate with millions of people, it gets kicked to the curb in favour of something that executives think does work on that scale. Meanwhile, the Internet is capable of supporting something that is less successful, meaning ideas have a chance to simply flourish.

Not only do you have a massive global audience and a massive number of creators, but you also have a wide spectrum of success among those creators as well. Some are getting by on less than a couple of dozen subscribers while others have tens of millions of subscribers. This fundamentally changes the dynamic of who is considered a content creator. Instead of some large company trying to produce something, you could have some random person in their house making video’s with a cell phone. It’s a big reason why the rules to qualify as a Canadian content producer is so archaic in the first place. That’s not even getting into the thinking some supporters of Bill C-11 have about content creators today.

Some people out there truly think that I have no idea what I’m talking about with all of the above. They feel they have a very real understanding and the idea that there is this ocean of creators out there is a bit exaggerated. So, it was coincidental that we learned of a report by Linktree that showcases that we are actually bang on with what w know about content creation today. Glyn Moody of Techdirt noted this report, saying the following:

One of the most dramatic differences between the traditional, analogue world of creation, and the modern, digital one, is the democratization that has taken place in this sphere. Until recently, writers, musicians, artists and filmmakers collectively formed a relatively select group that was hard to enter as a professional. Today, anyone with an Internet connection can spread the word about their work and make money from it. In effect, everyone who is online, to a greater or lesser degree, is a digital creator – even with the most ephemeral of posts on social media. Although it is clear the creative field has been opened up enormously, details are hard to come by. That makes a new “Creator Report” from Linktree particularly useful.

The report itself is quite detailed. You can either check out the website version or download the PDF version on our site. The numbers are quite stunning. In all, the organization says that there are 4.2 billion social media users and roughly 200 million creators.

Drilling down the numbers from there, the report says that there are 23 million creators with less than 1,000 subscribers or followers. A bulk of the creators, however, are noted as being “semi-pro” with anywhere between 1,000 and 10,000 subscribers or followers. So, if you find yourself struggling to reach that 10,000 follower mark, there is no shame in that. It’s where a huge bulk of other creators are right now. 66% of creators also viewed themselves as part time creators.

While there is plenty of other numbers to go around, Moody made the following comments which does summarize the report nicely:

None of those figures is particularly surprising – you’d expect only a small proportion of creators to make a living wage, and for full-time creators to find it easier to do this than for part-time creators. The central message of this report is a positive one: that the Internet has unleashed creativity on an unprecedented scale. When the digital world is criticized for its flaws and failings, which undoubtedly exist, that’s something that should always be borne in mind – and celebrated.

So, when the Canadian government sets out to actively mess with this system, that is why people are up in arms over it. The application of excessively outdated ideas of what a creator is today and applying that knowledge from the 70’s to the Internet like that is a recipe for disaster. Even looking at CRTC rules about what can be considered “Canadian content” and lining that up with the findings of this report, it is clear that government and Bill C-11 supporters are completely out of touch with what is going on with the Internet today.

What’s more is the fact that it has never been a better time to be a Canadian content creator. Canadian creators aren’t struggling to find an audience. In fact, Canadian’s are finding their audiences more than ever before. It is a failing of the government to simply not understand this. From the digital first creator perspective, Bill C-11 is a solution looking for a problem. The prospect that it could break so much in the process means that Canadian online creators are understandably opposed to this legislation for the most part.

While the hope is that this report is another huge stack of evidence to point to when we talk about why the government has taken a completely wrong direction, it is unlikely that the government will even acknowledge it. Heck, lawmakers are more keen on attacking these creators whenever they raise their concerns with the government. That alone sends the message that the government views creators as nothing more than their opponents which is so backwards, its ridiculous. Still, at the very least, the report highlights just the kind of ecosystem the Canadian government so bent on wrecking – and it’s difficult to overstate how big of an ecosystem it truly is.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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