Influencer Earnings Set to Rise in 2024

eMarketer – a market-research firm, has released data about influencer earnings. The report says that influencer earnings from social media are expected to grow by 16.5% in 2024, reaching $13.7 billion.
Affiliate marketing, where influencers earn commissions through trackable links or specific codes used by their followers to make purchases, is becoming more popular. It’s projected to bring in over $1 billion for creators in 2024, marking a 22.6% increase from the previous year.

Platforms like LTK and Amazon have traditionally been used by influencers to host their affiliate links, but TikTok Shop, launched in the US last year, is pushing this growth further. TikTok, along with Instagram and YouTube, is heavily promoting affiliate marketing.

Instagram and YouTube are also improving their affiliate marketing programs. Affiliate marketing is seen as an inclusive way for creators, including those of color who may face challenges in securing brand deals, to earn money.

YouTube continues to be a dominant platform for influencer earnings, with direct platform payouts to creators predicted to rise by 10% to $3.2 billion this year. The platform’s investment in influencer marketing has surged, especially for its shorts format, which saw a 700% increase in spending in 2023.

The demand for longer videos is one reason why YouTube is expected to be the most lucrative platform for creators in 2024. Platforms like TikTok are also supporting creators with initiatives that compensate them for creating longer content.

Despite this, direct monetization efforts like platform payouts are still challenging for many creators, especially with the prevalence of ads in short-form videos, which are less directly tied to creator income.

In addition to brand deals and affiliate marketing, influencers have other revenue streams such as launching courses, merchandise, and creator subscriptions. These alternative sources are particularly beneficial for creators with smaller audiences, helping them earn a living even without large-scale fame. The market for influencers has become saturated, reducing the likelihood of becoming an overnight sensation on platforms like TikTok. Instead, many are finding ways to monetize their content effectively over time.

Tipping, merchandise, and paid subscriptions, though still small parts of the overall earnings pie for social media creators, are growing gradually. TikTok has particularly embraced tipping, introducing features that allow followers to send money to creators either through their profiles or during live streams.

Overall, the ways influencers make money are diversifying. While brand partnerships remain crucial, the rise of affiliate marketing and the expansion of other income avenues are helping creators adapt to a changing digital landscape.

US consumers are spending more despite economic challenges like high inflation and rising interest rates, which in turn supports the growth in creator earnings. As the influencer market evolves, those who diversify their income streams and adapt to new opportunities are likely to see the most success.

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