3 Ways Content Creator Pay Has Evolved Since 2021

Has creator income changed? The short answer: yes.

Over the years, creator compensation has become an increasingly hot topic. 

Between shifts within the influencer marketing industry, the economy, and advertising budgets, we’ve noticed some key changes affecting influencer income. 

In this blog, we’re sharing three key creator income changes and why they should be on your radar. 


3 Ways Influencer Compensation Has Changed

Influencer pay rates are evolving. Here are three ways they’ve changed since 2021:


1. Rates for Instagram Feed Posts Have Increased

Since 2021, creator rates for Instagram Feed posts have increased.

In fact, 36% of creators charged between $101-$250 per feed post in 2021. However, this rate decreased to 26% in 2022 and 22% in 2023. 

Simultaneously, creators began to charge $501-$1K per feed post in that same timeframe. 

Translation: more creators charge over $250 for an Instagram Feed post in 2023.


2. Instagram, TikTok, and Twitch Are the Platforms to Watch

From consistent growth to year-over-year drops and spikes, here’s why marketers should pay attention to Instagram Reels, TikTok, and Twitch. 


Instagram is a consistently popular platform for brand/influencer collaborations. 

But of all Instagram content types, Reels have increased the most in popularity between 2021 and 2023.

87% of influencers created Reels in 2021; 92% created Reels in 2022; and 98% of creators made Reels in 2023. 


Of all post types across platforms, sponsored TikTok posts have seen the most drastic increase. In 2021, just 59% of creators were making sponsored TikToks. 

Now, in 2023, a whopping 90% of influencers are making TikToks as part of a branded sponsorship opportunity. 


Twitch streams dropped in popularity year-over-year between 2021 and 2022. Where 22% of creators were participating in sponsored Twitch streams in 2021, this dropped to 12% in 2022. 

But 2023 saw a resurgence. Twitch streams accounted for 24% of sponsored content in 2023 — double in frequency from 2022.


3. Creators Have Multiple Income Sources

In 2021, 90.5% of creators made a living from sponsored content.

However, gone are the days when creators earn income from sponsored content, alone.

Jump to the year 2023, this amount decreased to 81.8% — while the number of creators earning an income from affiliate marketing, paid ad revenue, and selling merchandise, increased. 

So while plenty of creators are still producing sponsored content with brands, they’re also diversifying their income streams, too. 


What Do These Insights Mean for Brands in 2024?

Content creator income is changing. But it doesn’t just impact creators; marketers should take note as well. Here’s why: 

  • If Instagram is a key part of your influencer marketing strategy, plan to increase spending to account for upward-trending creator rates. 
  • Consistently popular platforms aren’t going out of style, but don’t forget about niche content and where it performs best.
  • Sponsored content may not always be a creator’s “bread and butter.” Offer additional opportunities that allow creators to dabble in affiliate marketing, paid advertising, and more.


Want to learn more about creator pay? Download our free 2023 Creator Compensation Report and discover:

  • How brand collaborations and income have changed
  • Creator compensation trends by platform to inform your influencer marketing strategies 
  • Key takeaways to determine fair pay when partnering with creators


Download the 2023 Creator Compensation Report here.