Can you go viral? 2 in 5 adults think they can become superstar content creators

NEW YORK — Grab your ring light, selfie stick, and headphones — four in 10 Americans think they have what it takes to be the next content creator superstar. A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults finds that 41 percent have considered going into one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries: content creation. In fact, three in 10 claim they’ve already gone viral.

Motivated by money (39%), sharing their passions (37%), and being their own boss (35%), many believe content creation should be treated as a real job (58%). Moreover, another 58 percent think content creation jobs should be taken just as seriously as other fields of work — though 56 percent of respondents still consider content creation as a hobby.

Nearly half the poll (49%) believe they could make a decent living from being a content creator.

What’s the difference between creators and influencers?

Commissioned by YouTube Shorts and conducted by OnePoll, the study shows that 42 percent of Americans have thought about creating their own digital presence for business.

“We see creators across genres, content types and focus areas explore content creation as a profession because the opportunity to build a business on their passions feels within their grasp,” says Tiffany Matloob, Global Head of Creator Community Partnerships, YouTube Shorts, in a statement. “From having creative control to testing the waters for an entrepreneurial endeavor, content creation opens the floor to anyone who has a story or skill set they would like to share with the world.”

While many believe they have what it takes to go viral online, there’s still a lot of discrepancy of how the industry and creators are seen and defined. Four in 10 Americans correctly believe “content creators” create any kind of content, usually digitally. Meanwhile, 29 percent think they merely create ideas for content and 10 percent believe they only make videos.

Likewise, 34 percent believe “influencers” advertise on behalf of brands, 30 percent believe they are simply popular on social media, and 14 percent think they’re trendsetters. Two in three believe there’s a distinct difference between what content creators and influencers do daily, showing the public’s differing associations between these two terms.

content creator

Are shorter videos better?

More than half of the respondents (57%) say short-form videos feel “more personal to them,” allowing them to interact with the creators they follow. Nearly as many (55%) say they’re more inclined to watch a creator’s long-form content if they’ve seen their shorter videos first.

Out of the 49 percent of Americans who follow a content creator on social media, 81 percent keep up with the advice they learn from them. Forty-seven percent also think they would get along with their favorite creators if they were to meet in public.

“These results show people find short-form content to be enjoyable and relatable, often using it to complement their longer-form content,” Matloob adds. “High quality, short-form content can drive audiences to long-form video, but importantly, it also helps creators reach younger, mobile-first viewers who are often drawn to a shorter video format.”

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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