TikTok has become a serious contender in the battle for social-media attention, with billions of downloads globally. And talent managers and agents are fighting to sign TikTok’s roster of up-and-coming stars.
With the help of their reps, the app’s most popular creators have scored Super Bowl ads, lucrative brand sponsorships, and have crossed over into traditional media with talk-show appearances and animated voiceover work.
As with TikTok’s top talent — which includes YouTube-famous creators like David Dobrik and Emma Chamberlain and newcomers like Charli D’Amelio — the list of power players in TikTok talent management is a hodgepodge of incumbents and upstart agencies who capitalized on the app’s popularity at the right moment.
Some influencers have both a talent manager and an agent to help build their digital brand. In those cases, a manager will often help with day-to-day work of crafting the creator’s brand, while an agent will work bringing in deals and on broader business strategy. There’s also some overlap.
The most popular TikTok creator is 15-year-old Charli D’Amelio, who posts dance videos with friends or from her bedroom in Connecticut. She has 48 million followers on TikTok.
D’Amelio, her sister, and her two parents are all comanaged by the firms Outshine Talent and Manncom Creative Partners, and represented by United Talent Agency for larger business ventures like going on tour or launching a reality TV show.
Agents and managers earn revenue by receiving a cut of the influencer’s earnings, which typically ranges from 10% to 20%, depending on how much the agent they do for the client, according to industry insiders.
After highlighting the top talent managers and agents in the YouTube influencer space last year, Business Insider is now putting a spotlight on the top agents and managers for TikTok talent. These power players are helping shape the careers of TikTok stars in 2020.
Agencies that have worked with traditional Hollywood stars for decades like WME and UTA have been scooping up TikTok talent in recent months. And they’re not the only players in the game.
Talent management upstarts like The Fuel Injector, Amp Studios, and Sadowski Enterprises were some of the first to see TikTok’s potential and set up management deals with its stars.
“I think TikTok is super interesting,” Jad Dayeh, a partner and the cohead of digital at WME, told Business Insider in January. “It’s undeniably connecting with youth culture on a global level.”
As with other social-media platforms, TikTok’s prominence in the cultural zeitgeist has seen a bump in recent weeks as more people spend time online while sheltered at home. TikTok creators have seen video engagement spike and follower counts jump as the app’s user base grows to new heights.
In the months ahead, TikTok stars will lean on their managers and agents to discover how to leverage near-term fame into a long-term career.
To narrow down a list of finalists, Business Insider relied on a mix of our own reporting, nominations from readers, and industry experts who helped us assess each individual’s impact on the influencer business.
The top talent managers and agents for TikTok are listed in alphabetical order by company:
Check out our other influencer industry power lists on Business Insider Prime: