5 charts showing the creator economy’s recent evolution

Next year, US influencer marketing spend will hit $5.89 billion, and 82.7% of marketers will use influencer marketing, according to our forecasts. While that figure is a small portion of the $75.08 billion going to social network ad spend, influencer marketing is growing at a faster rate.

Influencer marketing gives marketers a unique ability to work with creators to produce engaging, authentic, community-focused content. Here are five charts representing how the creator industry is changing.

1. Influencer marketing spend is growing faster than social ad spend

US influencer marketing spend growth will remain in the double digits through 2025 (the end of our forecast), while social ad spend growth lingers between 4% and 10%, according to our forecast. The creator economy has been more resilient than paid social ad spend, as marketers lean into authenticity. The Hollywood strikes have also helped the creator economy stay healthy, incentivizing advertisers to look beyond TV and creators to build new revenue streams.

2. All major platforms are seeing growth

Influencer marketing spend growth is outpacing paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat, according to our forecast. And even those paid social ads are often creator content amplified as paid media.

3. Just how much are marketers spending on influencers?

On Instagram, US influencer marketing spend will pass $2 billion next year, according to our forecast. On TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook, spend will tick past $1 billion. Users are posting less on many of these platforms, but they’re consuming more. Creator content within stories, in-feed, and in smaller community groups are all strong spaces for marketers.

4. Instagram dominates influencer marketing

Instagram will be used by nearly all US marketers this year (97.6%), according to our forecast. Looking specifically at influencer marketing, 58.2% of US marketers will use Reels next year, putting it ahead of TikTok at 54.0%. Marketers should focus on video content that can reach audiences across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, rather than a platform-first approach that focuses on a specific channel.

5. Creators function as standalone media channels

Most creators still earn income from sponsored content (82%), but other revenue streams like paid content subscriptions (16%) and merchandise (15%) have gained traction, according to Mavrck.

Creators are no longer “Instagram influencers”—they’re just influencers, with communities that span multiple social platforms as well as within their own newsletters or Discord channels.

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.

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