Adobe has released a new global “Future of Creativity” study providing the most comprehensive look at the creator economy to date. The findings reveal a robust group of creators that has grown by 165M+ globally in the last two years, an increase of 119%. In addition to an in-depth look at the makeup of the global creator economy, the study examines how creators impact our culture and society, including their role in online conversations around social issues, and how content creation impacts their mental health. See below the findings, including that of UK content creators…

Adobe has announced the latest data and insights on the Creator Economy from the Adobe “Future of Creativity” Study. The study found that more than eight million new creators have joined the UK creator economy since 2020, with this group growing by more than 165 million to 303 million creators globally in the past two years. One in four Brits also describe themselves as a content creator, accounting for 16.5 million creators in the UK, approx. 25% of the population.

But for most UK creators, creating content remains a side hustle, with 65% otherwise employed full-time. Yet, the opportunity to turn a creative passion into a career remains lucrative, with UK influencers earning £117.48 per hour on average, the most out of respondents surveyed in the U.S., U.K., Spain, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Brazil. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that 30% of UK creators say becoming an influencer is a goal and 35% aspire to own their own business to make money from their online content.

adobe future of creativity graphic 165 million more content creators in the creator economy globally

Key findings:

  • A diverse, passionate, thriving creator economy:
    • Millennials make up 42% of creators with the average age being 40, while Gen Z makes up only 14% of creators globally.
    • Despite seeming ubiquitous, influencers make up only 14% of creators globally (influencers are defined as creators with more than 5K followers on one channel).
  • Redefining the future of work:
    • While content creation remains a side hustle for most (6 out of 10 Creators have full-time jobs in addition to content creating) it can be very lucrative:
      • More than half (51%) of influencers are earning in the top income brackets, making as much as lawyers and CPAs.
  • Creating and sharing for mental health:
    • Nearly half (47%) of influencers rank using or creating social content as a top necessity for mental health, above exercising (30%), listening to music (31%) and going outside in nature (27%).
  • Positively impacting social causes:
    • Creators agree that original social media content can have a positive impact on advancing social causes (61%). The priority causes for creators include Food/Housing Security (62%), Social Justice (59%) and Climate Change (58%).

UK creator community grows by eight million since 2020, with social influencers earning £117.48 per hour on average, the highest of all creators globally.

Freedom of expression is the main motivator of content creation, making creators happier than music, exercising, and going outside in nature.

adobe future of creativity graphic 47% of influencers see social media as a necessity

Content Creators and mental health (global findings)

The study revealed the more time creators spend creating and sharing content, the happier they feel. This is the opposite of social media consumers, who studies have shown can experience negative effects from social media use.

  • Creators who make daily content and/or spend 10+ hours per week creating report being happiest overall.
  • Most creators (69%) and influencers (84%) say creating and sharing online content is a creative outlet they can’t find elsewhere.
  • One in two influencers say using social media or creating social content is more important to their mental health than listening to music (31%), exercising (30%) and going outside in nature (27%).

Content Creators are Key to Advancing Social Causes Online (global findings)

Creators embrace the opportunity to advance conversations around social causes online, taking action to support ones that are important to them personally.

  • Nearly all (95%) of creators take action to advance or support causes that are important to them.
  • Food and housing security (62%), social justice (59%) and climate change (58%) top the list of causes most important to creators around the globe.
  • By using their creativity and influence to advance social causes, creators believe they can drive awareness (51%), give a voice to those who otherwise wouldn’t have one (49%) and make it easier to voice opinions on social causes (47%).
95% of creators support causes important to them adobe future creativity study findings

Simon Morris, Vice President of Marketing, EMEA and APAC at Adobe commented: “The growth in the number of creators in the UK and globally is exponential, demonstrating the creative empowerment people now feel to follow their ambitions and express themselves online. There’s little doubt that the events of the past two years have influenced this pace of growth, signalling that the democratisation of creativity is changing the where, when how and why we create and draw inspiration. Creators have the power to shape our economy and culture, forging lucrative and successful careers.

Be it Instagram, TikTok or YouTube, our social feeds are filled with influencer content, consumed multiple times daily. But what does it take to forge a career from content creation and be successful in the process? To inspire the nation and arm them with the tools they need to edit content ready for the feed, UK comedian and viral content star, Jack Joseph, reveals his top tips for finding your niche and social success.

Top tips from Jack Joseph for social success: 

  1. Be authentic and do you: Don’t be scared of what people think. Remember you will never be able to please everybody, as everyone has different preferences, so find your niche and stick to it. Remember to stay true to yourself. The audience will see through it if you’re portraying something fake.
  2. Find your community: Make an effort to network and collaborate with like-minded people within that niche, which will help widen your audience and also help with inspiration for content.
  3. Understand platform matters: Understand how each social platform works and utilise them as best as you can. Decide which platforms you will focus most of your attention on.
  4. Know your worth: When it comes to turning your hobby into a career, make sure you know your worth, and never underestimate it. If you put all of your focus on being intentional, creating unique and creative content that fits with your brand – then let money become a bi product of that
  5. Make editing key: Make the most of digital tools such as Photoshop, to really finesse your content as quality is key
  6. Be patient: When it comes to building a loyal audience, slow and steady wins. Don’t expect big things to happen overnight, and in most cases if it does, there will not be longevity.

See more guidance on using social media successfully here.

Commenting on the findings of the Creators in the Creator Economy study, Jack Joseph said; “It’s great to see influencers being taken seriously and more creators wanting to make it a full-time career. Social media is an industry that is constantly evolving, which is why I’ve learnt it’s important to be prepared to adapt and edit your content to fit different platforms, what’s trending and what your audience is loving. But staying true to yourself is the key to success and most important of all, is to enjoy the process!

48% of creators freedom of expression is main motivator for creating content adobe future of creativity graphic of study findings

Adobe Creative Cloud offers the most comprehensive portfolio of products and services across creative categories including imaging, photography, design, video and 3D and immersive—unleashing creativity for all, and empowering millions of creators around the world to collaborate with each other to tell their stories. Adobe recently expanded its offering to include Adobe Express, a web and mobile-based app that makes it easy to create standout content from thousands of beautiful templates.

About the “Future of Creativity” Study

Adobe’s Future of Creativity study aims to understand how creativity is changing around the world, speaking directly with those at the forefront of online creativity: creators in the creator economy. The study examines the future of creativity from a variety of perspectives.


The Future of Creativity study surveyed ~9,000 online creators in May 2022, in nine global markets (U.S., U.K., Spain, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Brazil). Adobe partnered with Edelman Data & Intelligence to conduct the study and analyze data to identify key trends across the creator economy. “Creators” are defined as having participated in creative activities (e.g., photography, creative writing, original social media content creation, etc.) and posting, sharing or promoting their work from these activities online at least monthly with the goal of growing their social presence. Data was collected from 4,535 Gen-Pop creators (ages 18+, ~500 per market), 5,111 Gen Z creators (ages 16-24, ~500 per market) with a ±1.4% margin of error and 95% confidence level.

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