Report: DC 'creators' generated $21.9 million in revenue from web-based platforms - Technical.ly DC

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Feb. 20, 2018 12:59 pm

Report: DC ‘creators’ generated $21.9 million in revenue from web-based platforms

The Re:Create Coalition tracked nine top sites and their users across the country.

Etsy Headquarters.

From the Etsy press kit

According to an inaugural report from the Re:Create Coalition, 14.8 million independent Americans earned nearly $6 billion from their Amazon Publishing, Etsy, Instagram and YouTube accounts in 2016. In the District, it boils down to 62,386 “new creators” generating $21.9 million; in Virginia, 319,924 creators earning $111.5 million and in Maryland, 288,568 creators earning $101.3 million.

“Anytime I post a photo that I took on Instagram, I am a creator,” Re:Create Executive Director Joshua Lamel told Technical.ly DC. “We talk a lot about how creativity has evolved in our society in the internet era, and one of the fascinating things the internet has done is create a new medium of going to the consumer without the gatekeeper.”

The study, which tabulates the earnings of creators who earned at least $1 in 2016 on nine platforms, was conducted by Dr. Robert Shapiro, the former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs. The platforms included in the study are Youtube, Instagram, Etsy, Twitch, Tumblr, WordPress, Shapeways, Ebay and Amazon Publishing. It also means that the study is the tip of the iceberg and that the estimates are conservative. For instance, it didn’t include music-based platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud or Pandora.

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“We could not cover writers, photographers or video makers who use platforms other than the nine we analyzed,” wrote Shapiro. “Nor did we cover creators who post their own music or fine arts online, because the necessary data and evidence for the leading websites for those classes of creators were not available.”

California leads the pack with 2,831,720 creators who generated $1.5 billion in revenue in 2016, followed by New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois. At the bottom was Alaska with 33,802 creators who generated $10.7 million, followed by Delaware, South Dakota, Wyoming and North Dakota.

Lamel said that while a majority of business owners and entrepreneurs have incorporated the internet into their daily lives, this is just the beginning.

“If I wanted to make a video in 1975 and distribute it around the world, I would need a major financial investment from a backer who believed in that video, let alone the cost of production. Today I can get out my smartphone and do that,” he said. “That’s game changing and fascinating to watch.”

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