A new report from HypeAuditor revealed that total spend on YouTube influencer marketing grew by 14 percent, to $5.67 billion, in 2019. HypeAuditor’s findings also indicate that despite the pandemic, brands spent more on YouTube influencer marketing in the first three months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
In 2019, 2 billion users logged into YouTube each month, up from 1.8 billion in 2018. In December 2019 alone, the YouTube influencer market reached $498 million.
HypeAuditor estimates that affiliate marketing accounts for 30 percent of YouTube’s total influencer market. Among the 50 brands that creators mentioned most in April 2020, 25 used influencer marketing, 13 brands used affiliate marketing, six brands helped influencers sell their merch and six brands received organic mentions.
For example, Playstation, Manscaped and Samsung leveraged mostly influencer marketing, while Epic Games, NordVPN and Audible utilized mostly affiliate marketing. Netflix, Itch and Planet Minecraft used mostly organic forms of promotion.
A COVID-19 report from Socialbakers found that the number of posts tagged with #ad dropped by 30 percent in April. Similar Attain research suggested that influencers lost an average of 33 percent of their potential earnings. Yet the YouTube influencer market remains largely unaffected by the crisis. In fact, HypeAuditor’s data show that in Q1 2019, YouTube’s influencer market size amounted to nearly $1.327 billion, then jumped seven percent in Q1 2020, to $1.42 billion.
HypeAuditor’s findings are based on an analysis of over 149 million videos, 2.5 million of which included sponsored links in the description box. To calculate the total spent on YouTube influencer marketing, HypeAuditor filtered videos that have over 1,000 views, as well as brand mentions in the description box. The platform then multiplied the number of brand mentions by the estimated average integration price for each channel analyzed.