80% of content creators experience excessive stress, says Spotify study

There has been much research indicating that audio, particularly self-selected relaxing music, can be an accessible and effective tool for managing stress. Music can act as a “memory time machine” to recall positive past experiences and emotions, which can help with coping. Now, Spotify has come up with a study to have a comprehensive understanding of mental state and well-being and the coping strategies of web content creators.

First-of-its-kind research, ‘Audio: Where Creators Come To Pause’, puts the spotlight on the daily lives and challenges of India’s content creator community, and how they deal with emotions. 230 content creators in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, were analysed in the study. The study included 30 one-hour virtual in-depth interviews and 200 online surveys. During the research, a panel of mental health experts was also consulted.

Creators across a range of categories (music, art, lifestyle, cause-led, entertainment, fashion, etc.) and followerships (10k to 1m+) participated in it.

Nearly 80% of the respondents experience excessive stress or pressure in their work at least once every week.

A study found five main types of challenges that content creators deal with:

  • Intellectual: The constant need to keep up with changing algorithms and posting frequencies builds high pressure to post content regularly.
  • Emotional: Negative feedback and comments significantly affect creators’ self-esteem, with nearly 40% facing ‘fear of the future’.
  • Physical: Almost 40% of creators spend more than 3 hours a day to make content, leading to exhaustion and an adverse impact on health.
  • Social: Creators face loneliness and isolation within their circles, with nearly 65% of them feeling inadequately supported by the creator community.
  • Financial: Content creation is not always financially rewarding, especially during the early stages.

According to the study, audio plays a key role in coping with these challenges.

Actor and comedian Mallika Dua said: “One of my greatest joys in life is music, it’s a big part of self-care and my way to gain inner peace. Music is like a person who is always with me in my room, making sure I never feel alone”.

It was observed that 50% of the respondents use music as a coping mechanism.

Also, 70 per cent of creators agree that music, podcasts, audiobooks & guided meditations help them deal with stress. More than 40% of creators listen to audio to lift their mood, feel inspired, or calm their nerves.

It was observed that Female content creators are more likely to feel stressed (33%) than their male counterparts (20%). A similar pattern is also seen in the creators from the age group of 30-45 years (35%) compared to 18–29-year-olds (24%).

“Nowadays, it’s important for creators to realise that we need time to kind of distance ourselves from the screens, from social media and think about how much toll it’s taking on our mental health”, said content creator and actor, Dolly Singh.

Nearly 45% of the respondents feel that their current coping mechanisms are ineffective, and are facing a range of need gaps, including inclusive and accessible support tools like therapy and counselling, and a safe space where creators can have open conversations while being vulnerable and protecting their privacy.

Vasundhara Mudgil, Head of Communications, Spotify India, said, “Content creators are a part of an industry where the entry barriers are low, burnout is always just around the corner, and constant comparison with other creators is common. The Spotify study highlights some of the most relevant issues that the creator community in India faces, and the role that audio plays in supporting their overall well-being. Through this initiative, and on-ground sessions with mental health experts, we want to encourage the creator community to see audio, and Spotify, as a place where they can come to pause”.