It’s no secret that the content creation universe expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic. An influx of new users entered the space, and pre-existing content creators became further embedded in the market. The home studio market grew by over 70% in 2020, with sustained YoY growth stretching into 2021.
Of course, these levels of growth couldn’t be sustained forever. As lockdown restrictions eased, content creators spent less time at home, with much of the initial entry-level demand already fulfilled by 2022. With the worsening economic situation, luxury purchases like content creation technology took a hit, creating a distinct downward pressure on the market.
Yet there remains clear positivity within the market, even room for expansion. Although 2022 revenues plateaued, the figures remained strong – certainly above the levels seen pre-pandemic. Futuresource’s research shows that the number of content creators is still growing, particularly as improvements in technology and distribution make content creation more accessible. Beyond this, the prevalence of the creator economy and the utilisation of AI are making the profession increasingly appealing and monetisable. For brands, this is great news. Our survey that nearly three-quarters of content creators use AI to support their content creation, and almost 70% are using creator economy tools and services.
Although content creators spent less time at home in 2022, the changing global situation also meant that on-the-go outdoor content was revived. On the professional side of the market, broadcasting and post-production edged closer to recovery, also helping fuel growth. Beyond these initial factors, underlying cyclical factors are acting as a strong market force. Learning, expression, popularity/fame, inspiration and consumption – the volume of which is only expected to increase YoY – are helping drive more users into the market. Content breeds content creators, and famous and mid-level creators are continuously inspiring those on the cusp of their content creation journey. The positivity is highlighted from our end user survey, with over 14% of content creators saying they’ve only been creating content for less than a year. Additionally, users in the market only continue to become more entrenched and invested, with over 60% of video and audio content creators saying they’re spending more time creating content over the past 12 months
It’s an industry of increasing diversity. Creators are exploring new niches as video creation receives strong attention. Home studio video creators are almost double that of audio creators, but audio remains an important element of video production. Streamers, podcasters, social media video creators, and gamers are seeing faster growth rates than traditional content creation activities like music. Growth isn’t coming from just one category, but across the board. Creators are differentiating their content and working across multiple platforms in a bid to increase their reach and chances of success and monetisation. The market is responding by many manufacturers tailoring equipment to meet these diverse needs, releasing new products to target these users, while also improving their marketing to these growth areas.
As new creators emerge and existing ones diversify their output, there’s a clear demand for brands to make their products easier to use and more valuable to end users. Futuresource’s end user survey demonstrates over 30% of video and audio content creators are seeking easier-to-use hardware, with even more respondents seeking easier-to-use software. The market has already responded to this demand, with new product features aiming to make content creation more accessible and greater quality easier to achieve. This includes easy-to-use products for specific applications and streamlining software alongside existing hardware, with the aim to simplify creation and provide added value.
These factors lead us to feel confident in the long-term opportunity for content creation, with the home studio being a stand-out contributor. Our upcoming report anticipates the value of both the home studio and professional studio & broadcast markets to achieve a CAGR of around 4% between 2022-2027. Plus, our end user survey demonstrates that over three in five creators are anticipating spending more time creating video or audio content in the next twelve months, with improved motivation and skills as the top incentive to increase their time investment. Developing a deep understanding of end users and the current market landscape is imperative for companies hoping to seize long-term opportunities.
Futuresource’s content creator report is invaluable in getting to grips with the market’s current growth areas. Understand where the opportunities lie, and which markets are struggling after the pandemic peaks. For more information about Futuresource’s content creator report or end user survey, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
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