Are There Enough Users Generating Content?

    June 29, 2007

It looks like eMarketer is afraid of the impending UGC creator shortage. That, or they’re crying wolf. And they’d never do something like that. Why, the very idea!

Anyway, eMarketer starts off by asking the all-important UGC question, “Are enough people recording their cats?” Their answer is, “Apparently not,” because UGC users outnumber creators. With 69.1 million users last year in the US and 128 million users worldwide, and “only” 63.7 million US creators (117.9 million worldwide), they seem to think we’ll be running out of videos of cats playing the piano.

I take this as refreshing. Weren’t we just worrying about whether or not there could ever be enough people interested in all the UGC out there to actually watch it all? And yes, while 5.4 and 10.1 million people are lots, we’re talking about an 8.5% difference (US and worldwide). (You really want to put it into perspective: the difference represents 1.8% of the US population and 0.17% of the world population.)

Apparently trying to incite mass hysteria, they project this trend to continue for the next five years. In 2011, we’ll have only 95.1 million people in the US and 237.7 million people worldwide creating UGC to the 101.1 million users in the US and 253.6 million users worldwide. Aside from the fact that we can scarcely know what UGC will look like in four years, why should we believe that both of these growth rates will remain completely steady?

Well, if you’ll excuse me, I do need to go get Whiskers to her piano lessons. Take that, Nora!