Australian Content Creators Raking in $9 Billion Annually from Digital Tools

Australian Content Creators Raking in $9 Billion Annually from Digital Tools

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Australian content creators are utilizing digital tools to export social media content to the world, resulting in a profit of $9 billion per year. Over the past two years, the volume of creative and original social media content posted online has doubled to six million. This growth has led to calls for financial support for the industry, which has largely emerged from individuals’ living rooms.

Technology has played a significant role in democratizing the creative industries and removing barriers to entry. As a result, anyone can now become a digital creator, regardless of age, income, language, or location. Globally, there are approximately 50 million content creators, and this number is expected to grow at a rate of 10 to 20 percent annually over the next five years. These creators have developed increasingly intricate content ecosystems with multiple online and offline revenue streams.

Australian content creators, fueled COVID-19 lockdowns, have turned to platforms like YouTube, Spotify, TikTok, and Instagram to export their digital artistic expression. More than a third of Australian content creators aim to build a revenue-generating business. The most popular platform is YouTube, which alone contributed $890 million to Australia’s GDP in 2022 through job creation and indirect economic benefits.

The rise of the creator economy has brought about a significant change in how Australians consume culture and has provided much-needed job opportunities in a sector that has been affected the pandemic. Building an online community is crucial for monetization. This has led to the emergence of agencies, distribution partners, investors, and marketing firms to help digital creators find new revenue streams.

According to Kate Pounder, CEO of the Tech Council of Australia, the creative and digital economies are closely intertwined. Australia has excelled in this field, with platforms contributing to the democratization of content production and discovery. Creators earn income through sponsored content, royalties, advertising revenue, direct sales, and live performances.

However, the Australian Taxation Office has warned content creators that income generated from activities such as make-up tutorials is declarable. Tracking influencers who receive payment in the form of goods might be more challenging for tax purposes.

To ensure the sector flourishes and competes in the global marketplace, there is a need for support mechanisms and a dedicated export ecosystem. Screen Australia, for example, has provided $23 million in financing to online content creators over the past four years and has announced funding for seven short film projects produced specifically for digital platforms. It is essential for these creative sectors to adapt to the digital transition and receive support to continue delivering high-quality storytelling.

In conclusion, the opportunities presented the global creator economy should not be overlooked, as they can drive job creation and economic growth, particularly in regional areas. It is crucial to leverage Australia’s multicultural mix and international links in building a diverse and vibrant content export sector that extends beyond traditional English-language markets.

– Nina Hendy, “Australians raking in $9 billion from digital tools” (September 19, 2023)