Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.
In this week’s edition:
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Gaming content creators saw rapid growth in 2020, with a boost to livestreaming content and viewership in general.
Marketers have taken note. For instance, the share of marketers who plan to use
for influencer marketing more than doubled in the past year, according to a March survey by Linqia.
With this growth, the demand for managers and agents to help gaming influencers, streamers, and esports competitors juggle their success has increased.
My colleague Michael Espinosa and I highlighted some of the top managers and agents who have helped shape the world of gaming creators in 2021.
Here are some takeaways from Insider’s second annual list:
Click Management: an Australian company managing clients like Lazarbeam, which was also appointed the exclusive Facebook Gaming creator service provider in Australia and New Zealand.
Night Media: manages a number of top YouTube creators in the vlogger-gaming space like MrBeast, Preston, and Aphmau.
TalentX Gaming: the gaming arm of TalentX Entertainment, which manages clients like the gaming comedian LaurenzSide.
“The gaming industry in general, and specifically mobile, has been exploding over the past year and a half,” said Lance Frisbee, the cofounder and CEO of Aftershock Media Group. “It’s been incredible to see the amount of focus and emphasis that companies are now putting on digital media and influencer marketing. As we look to the remainder of 2021, there are a ton of esports events and conventions that are starting to come back and that is really exciting as well.”
YouTube is launching a new monetization tool, called Super Thanks, as it competes to win over creators.
The new feature lets fans “donate” money to creators on all eligible video uploads, and gives creators another way to earn money directly on the platform. YouTube takes 30%.
But how does it stack up against similar features from rivals?
Here’s a breakdown:
Instagram “Badges”: Fans can tip creators who livestream on Instagram using IG Live (creators get 100% of the revenue).
Facebook “Stars”: Viewers can tip on livestream gaming videos on Facebook (Facebook’s revenue share that fans pay when they buy Stars varies between 5% and 30%).
Twitch “Bits”: A virtual good fans can buy and use to “cheer” (tip) their favorite streamers (Twitch’s cut is variable, but generally ranges from 18% to 28% in the US).
TikTok “Gifts”: Viewers can purchase a virtual icon to tip creators with during a livestream (TikTok’s conversion between dollars and gifts is complicated; for a full explanation read this).
Super Thanks is currently in beta and is slowly rolling out to all eligible creators later this year.
TikTok recently blocked all financial companies, dating apps, and live-video platforms from sponsoring influencer posts on the app.
But there are workarounds, including using TikTok’s ad portal or posting on a brand’s own account.
My colleagues Dan Whateley and Molly Innes wrote about the new rules.
Here are some key takeaways:
A brand like
can’t pay an influencer to post a video on the creator’s own account, but the company can still hire an influencer to make a promotional post for its brand-managed TikTok account.
The new restrictions are relatively narrow, and don’t represent an outright ban for startups on TikTok’s prohibited list.
Marketers say TikTok’s new policies are meant to protect the app’s younger users from bad actors.
“I don’t look at this as a hurdle as much as a safeguard to protect our talent,” said Eric Jacks, chief strategy officer of Collab.
JaLisa Vaughn-Jefferson is a lifestyle influencer with 275,000 Instagram followers.
It’s only halfway into 2021, but she’s already booked more than $700,000 in brand deals.
This total is before taxes, and Vaughn-Jefferson’s management also takes a percentage of brand deals.
My colleague Sydney Bradley spoke with Vaughn-Jefferson on how she makes money as a full-time influencer.
Here are a few key takeaways:
Her engagement rate is high at about 4%, according to her management (the average engagement rate for accounts with more than 100,000 followers was between 1.3% and 1.6%).
She spends a lot of time responding to direct messages, and her team helps analyze what her audience is asking of her.
“We’re a business,” she said. And just as brands strive to provide good customer service to their clients, she wants to provide her sponsors with good service.
More influencer industry news:
Gaming and esports
Chart of the week:
TikTok hashtag of the week:
Every week, we highlight a top trending hashtag on TikTok, according to data provided by Kyra IQ.
This week’s hashtag: DeepRealization
The percentage uptick for the last 7 days: 7,836%
This uptick is centered around a trend where creators are realizing and reflecting on something in their lives.
Here’s what else we’re reading:
And before you go, check out the top trending songs on TikTok this week to add to your playlist. The data was collected by UTA IQ, the research, analytics, and digital strategy division of United Talent Agency.