This is Amanda Perelli, and welcome to the influencer industry newsletter from Business Insider: Influencer Dashboard.
I report on the business of social-media influencers and creators, and in this newsletter, you'll find a weekly look at what's new in the business of YouTube, Instagram, and the influencer industry at large.
Every Thursday, I'll take you inside the influencer economy, highlighting the top news of the week, chatting with the power players in the business, and breaking down the ways influencers earn their money online.
Here's a taste of some of my previous coverage:
I looked at the business empire of 8-year-old YouTube star Ryan Kaji of Ryan's World, who earns tens of millions of dollars per year reviewing surprise mystery toys on YouTube. I spoke with an exec at Pocket.Watch, the company behind Kaji's toy business, who shared how the company has turned Kaji's YouTube brand into a sprawling, money-making machine, with consumer products and a show on Nickelodeon.
Like Kaji, many social-media influencers are young and gaining a following by doing what they love, or sharing their lives.
For instance, I interviewed 16-year-old TikTok star Parker Pannell, who grew up with the dream of making in Hollywood, but got his big break on TikTok instead. I've also spoken to college students who have become famous YouTubers by sharing their experiences, like in move-in videos, which can rack up millions of views.
This week's rundown includes my power list of the top talent agents for YouTube influencers, a look at the prices of sponsored content on YouTube in 2019, and an assessment of the ramifications of Instagram hiding likes.
Since the rise of YouTube influencers, Hollywood's top talent agencies have developed digital-focused departments, and now work with popular YouTube stars like Emma Chamberlain (8.5 million subscribers) and Shane Dawson (23 million subscribers) in developing multi-platform businesses.
Business Insider highlighted the top 18 power players in the digital talent agent space, based on who is successfully helping shape the careers of creators and the broader business.
YouTube influencers earn a bulk of their money by promoting products within videos, and by mentioning brands in timed integrations.
In a recent report, Izea, a company that connects marketers with influencers, found that the average price of a sponsored video on YouTube has bounced back after a dip in 2018.
I spoke with Sienna Santer, a Harvard student and popular YouTube influencer about how much she's earned on YouTube.
Santer has 265,000 subscribers on YouTube, and started focusing on her channel in earnest a year ago after her video (a Harvard dorm-room tour with 4.7 million views) blew up online.
“It's helped me finance college,” she said of her YouTube channel. “It's how I pay for my tuition — everything.”
Last week, I spoke to Joe Gagliese, the CEO of the influencer marketing company Viral Nation, about Instagram testing a feature that hides likes on posts for some US users.
He said this change could lead to more fake influencers on the platform since one of the ways marketers spot fraud is to check if likes correlate with follower count.