The livestreaming boom is driving a significant uptick in the creator economy, as a new forecast estimates consumers will spend $6.78 billion in social apps in 2021. According to data from mobile data firm App Annie, that figure will grow to $17.2 billion annually by 2025, which notes the upward trend represents a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29%. The firm reports that the lifetime total spent on social apps will reach $78 billion by that point.
Initially, much of the Livestream economy was based on one-off purchases like sticker packs, but today, consumers gift content creators directly during their live streams. Some of these donations can be incredibly high at times. Twitch streamer ExoticChaotic was given $75,000 during a live session on Fortnite, one of the largest-ever donations on the game-streaming social network. Meanwhile, App Annie notes another platform, Bigo Live, enables broadcasters to earn up to $24,000 per month through their live streams.
Apps that offer livestreaming as a prominent feature are also driving the majority of today’s social app spending, the report says. In the first half of this year, $3 out of every $4 spent in the top 25 social apps came from apps that offered live streams, for example.
During the first half of 2021, the U.S. will become the top market for consumer spending inside social apps, with 1.7x the next largest market, Japan, representing 30% of the market by spend. China, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea followed to round out the top 5.
While both creators and the platforms are financially benefitting from the livestreaming economy, the media are benefitting in other ways beyond their commissions on in-app purchases. Livestreams are helping to drive demand for these social apps, and they help boost other key engagement metrics, like time spent in the app.
One top app that’s significantly gaining here is TikTok. Year, TikTok surpassed YouTube in the U.S. and the U.K. regarding the average monthly time spent per user. It often continues to lead in the former market and more decisively leads in the latter.