C2HR Compensation Survey Findings Reflect
Industry-Specific Trends and Benchmarks
Drawing upon data provided by 56 industry employers for 160,000 employees, the annual C2HR Compensation Surveys revealed that pay at content developers rose substantially across all employee levels in 2022, with executives achieving the largest gains. Among connectivity providers, pay growth was modest; however, hourly and sales positions achieved strong increases.
“C2HR’s Compensation Surveys reflect the changing marketplace,” said Parthavi Das, C2HR’s executive director. “In 2021, we saw connectivity employees thrive as they valiantly met the challenges of a nation pivoting to remote work and at-home learning for school children, while in 2022, we saw pay for content developers rebound as studios reopened and competition for viewers intensified,” she added.
Salary Adjustment Budgets Rose in 2022
Although not quite on track with the national average of 4.1%, content developer salary adjustment budgets rose a full percentage point, to 3.6%, in 2022, with 2023 budgets expected to remain at 3.6%. At connectivity companies, 2022 salary adjustment budgets also rose to 3.6% (from 3% in 2021) and are projected to increase to 3.8% in 2023.
“Industry consolidation and anticipated cost-cutting measures in the face of inflation may be responsible for the flattening of salary budgets in 2023,” said Hali Croner, president and chief executive officer of The Croner Company, the research and compensation consulting firm that conducted the surveys for C2HR.
Robust Pay Growth for Content Developers
In 2022, content employees at all levels accrued substantial compensation increases. Executives achieved the largest gains, with total direct compensation (TDC) rising 11.6%, in stark contrast to 2021, when executive TDC increased only 2% as many executives deferred pay increases during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. (See Figure 1)
“We saw bigger bonuses for executives in 2022 as content developers rewarded executives for navigating their companies through hard times,” explained Croner.
In addition, middle management achieved 7.3% average TDC bumps, up from 2.1% in 2021; professional individual contributors (ICs) (non-managers) 5.3%, up from 3.3%; and operating IC/support personnel 6% TDC, up from 4.4% in 2021. TDC includes base salary, bonus and stock incentives.
Modest Pay Raises for Connectivity Providers
As schools resumed in-person learning and businesses reopened, the huge demand for broadband services to support telework and telelearning slowed. In conjunction, pay increases for connectivity employees also slackened.
Connectivity management accrued 2.7% average TDC increases, down from 6.3% in 2021. Salaried employees achieved 3.3% TDC gains, versus 4.2% in 2021; hourly 5.2 % base salary increases and 4.1% TDC, down from 5.9%; and sales TDC 5.3%, down from 6.3% in 2021. (See Figure 2)
“C2HR’s Compensation Surveys reflect the changing marketplace,” said Das. “In 2021, we saw connectivity employees thrive as they valiantly met the challenges of a nation pivoting to remote work and at-home learning for school children, while in 2022, we saw pay for content developers rebound as studios reopened and competition for viewers intensified,” she added.
Most Bonuses at or Above Target
2022 was a good year for bonuses among both content and connectivity survey participants as 75% of bonuses paid were at or above target. Connectivity providers’ average bonus compared to target was 111% (company weighted); content developers’ average bonus, 108%. Most employees reaped these financial rewards as bonus eligibility remained broad-based among respondents. At connectivity companies, 93% offered bonuses with 100% of managers, directors, vice presidents, and executives eligible. These companies also offered bonuses to 62% of ICs and 54% of support personnel. Bonus eligibility was slightly less at content developers, with 90% offering broad-based cash rewards. Eligibility included: 100% executives, 95% vice presidents, 92% directors, 79% managers, 50% ICs, 37% support personnel.
Stock Incentives Limited to Management
Unlike their digital competitors, long-term incentives (LTIs) eligibility remained limited to upper management – with a few exceptions. Among C2HR’s 2022 Compensation Survey participants, 86% of connectivity providers offered LTIs with eligibility as follows: 100% C-level; 92% executive management; 92% vice presidents; 92% directors; 42% managers; 8 percent ICs; 0% support. Meanwhile, 79% of content developer respondents offered LTIs, with eligibility as follows: 100% C-Level; 100% executive management; 82% vice presidents; 55% directors; 12% managers; 9% ICs; 9% support.
“On any given day, we refer to the survey to help us benchmark a role that we are trying to hire or promote someone into,” said Scott Hayes, vice president of executive and equity compensation, Warner Bros. Discovery. “We also use it to ensure that the incentive components of our compensation remain competitive.”
Compensation Surveys included 56 participants. Companies
included 14 connectivity providers and 42 content developers
the participant list). The survey results are industry-specific,
providing an in-depth analysis of pay practices for
roughly 126,300 connectivity employees and 34,394 content
workers, including both exempt and nonexempt positions
ranging from technicians to top executives. The participants
submitted data reflecting 2022 budgets, base compensation
figures, bonuses and incentives.
C2HR’s Compensation Surveys are unique in that they include the majority of the industry – 56 participants, 160,694 incumbents, and 1,340 job titles. In addition, a planning board meets annually to hone the surveys position titles and questions to ensure they stay ahead of marketplace changes.
As a result of this planning, in 2022, the Content Developers Survey added three new job families: growth marketing, recruiting and compliance, and 28 new positions. The Connectivity Providers Survey also added three new job families: recruiting, technical recruiting, and systems administration and 29 new positions.
2023 Survey Participation Enrollment
If you are interested in participating in a 2023 C2HR Compensation Survey, or would like additional information, please contact Laurie Krashanoff at 415.485.5521 or use this form.