Jun 15, 2020
Let’s take a minute and be honest: 2020 has been a nightmare for a lot of us. And in addition to social distancing, many filmmakers have also had to deal with the loss of work, opportunities, and income.
We recently wrote about how people in creative fields are coping with these crazy times. That led us to ask some important questions, like what else we can do to help.
Our goal at Soundstripe is to provide creators with the resources you need to make the things you love, whether that’s a vlog or a podcast or indie films. But to really understand what will benefit you, we also need to understand how you create.
What tools do you use when you’re working on projects? What sorts of struggles do you have? How do you think of yourself as part of a global creative industry?
To help us answer these questions, we conducted our first ever Tools of the Trade survey. When we wrote the report, we had more than 1,100 responses — and that number keeps going up.
We’re grateful to each and every one of you for letting us collaborate with you on your creative endeavors. We hope this survey will give you some insight into how your fellow creatives work and the gear they use.
Right off the bat, the most surprising thing we discovered is the number of industry veterans in our creative community. Most people think of “content creators” as streamers, YouTubers, and Instagramers. That assumption creates the stereotype that this is an industry for young, inexperienced, and trendy creators.
Our survey tells a different story.
We already knew that the Soundstripe community is made up of passionate filmmakers, podcasters, advertisers, and creators from a variety of industries. But now we know for a fact that people making and sharing content are anything but newcomers.
While almost 26% of survey-takers said they’ve been producing content for 1-3 years, 30% of people have 10+ years of experience making content. And the third largest group listed 4-6 years of experience in their field.
In other words, more than half of our community is made up of veterans. And that helped us change our own perspective about the survey results. We wanted to not only show the general answers, but also compare those numbers to the 10-year experience crowd.
Everyone wants to learn from people with more experience. So it’s our hope that by highlighting the gear preferences and processes of seasoned professionals, this survey will lead to some insight for up-and-coming creators.
And before we dive into more key results, we appreciate that so many of you let us see behind the scenes to get an idea of your creative processes. We hope the survey will help support newer filmmakers who are unsure about which software to use or which camera to purchase.
After collecting the survey results, we’ve produced a detailed breakdown of what we learned. You can download this resource for free, but we also wanted to share a few of the results that stood out the most to us.
Here are four of the specific statistics that caught us by surprise:
One widespread belief is that creative people are visionaries. And I think we’ve all heard (most likely from relatives) that “art” isn’t something that will pay the bills.
But according to the Soundstripe community, almost 55% of content creators get to do what they love as their full-time job.
First of all, that is an impressive number. It’s also an inspiring one, especially for people who dream of the day when they’ll get to turn their passion projects into a legitimate career path.
However, when we look at the most experienced set, 78% of respondents said content creation was their full-time occupation.
One not-so-surprising statistic is that the most popular channel is YouTube: 86% of people share content on YouTube. But 74% also post content to Facebook.
Social media is clearly a primary way that people connect with each other, find entertainment, and discover new things to enjoy. YouTube has always been the leading platform for content creators, and especially for filmmakers who double down on production value.
The fact that Facebook is a close second tells us that you aren’t just interested in posting a video — you want to share it directly with the people who matter most to you.
The numbers from the experienced group were similar, save for the fact that they were most likely to use Vimeo or Dailymotion.
Soundstripe is a royalty free music service, so we basically live in the music licensing world. It can be easy to forget that many content creators know very little about music licensing, royalties, copyright law, etc.
According to the results, 64% of you knew at least a little bit about music copyright before you began licensing royalty free music for your videos.
Now “a little” covers a pretty wide range of knowledge levels. It could mean that people knew they needed to license music before using it, or it could mean that they started out filmmaking using stock music because it was the easiest to download.
Either way, it’s interesting to see the number of people who didn’t have in-depth knowledge of copyright law but still understood it’s importance to protect their creative projects.
On the other hand, 24% of survey takers said that you knew a lot about music copyright before you partnered with Soundstripe.
In contrast, the more experienced cohort felt much more comfortable with the nuances of royalty free music: 41% said they knew a lot about the subject.
Interestingly, 53% said they still knew only a little about music licensing, which underscores the arcane nature of this topic — even among industry veterans.
Again, these four points are just a sneak peek at the things we learned. This is after all, a survey about what tools creators use, and we cover that in the full report. We are thankful for your cooperation on the survey, and for your honest feedback.
A big benefit of Soundstripe’s business is that we get to work with inspiring creators, and what we learned from this survey will help us grow and evolve in ways that get even more helpful content and resources into your hands…or on your computer, technically.
But until then, keep creating the things you (and your audience) love.
If you're interested in more creator-driven content, these articles from the Soundstripe blog are worth checking out next: