Biz Tips: Gen Z are Reshaping the Future of Influencer Marketing

Biz Tips: Gen Z are Reshaping the Future of Influencer Marketing


Gen Z are Reshaping the Future of Influencer Marketing

The top 10 YouTube influencers earned $180.5 million in 2018

From blockchain cryptoeconmics to user generated content in vlogging, live-streaming and micro video apps, GenZ (born 1995 and after) are changing the future of the internet.

The rise of personal brands and influencer marketing have made YouTube, Instagram and now TikTok apps that drive incredible traffic for retail brands all over the world.

When I founded the WOM Protocol, I was looking to bring word-of-mouth recommendations to the world combined with blockchain. I believe this generation of the Gen Z will finally prefer cryptoeconomics to advertising as the primary incentives of the communities they build.

But since it’s near the end of the year, let’s take a loot at some of the biggest earners. This data is via CNBC and is based on Forbes estimates.

In fact, the majority of the top earners on YouTube are in their 20s and make over $10 million a year. Curiously the list is also an all male cast. Vlogging has become such a phenomena it’s changing our consumption patterns, as more people watch long form videos on YouTube.

10. Logan Paul

Frazer Harrison | Getty Images

Logan Paul attends the Teen Choice Awards 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Age: 23
Number of YouTube subscribers: 18.6 million
Year he joined YouTube: 2015
Earnings in 2018: $14.5 million (versus $12.5 million in 2017)

Logan Paul, who’s most known for his pranks, reaction videos and outrageous skits, makes money off of his videos, brand deals and merchandise.

9. PewDiePie

John Lamparski | Getty Images

Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg

Age: 29
Number of YouTube subscribers: 77.6 million
Year he joined YouTube: 2010
Earnings in 2018: $15.5 million (versus $12 million in 2017)

Felix Kjellberg, PewDiePie’s real name, is a Swedish YouTuber who remains one of the most followed stars despite controversy.

8. Jacksepticeye

Leon Bennett | Getty Images

Jacksepticeye attends The Game Awards 2018 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Age: 28
Number of YouTube subscribers: 20.9 million
Year he joined YouTube: 2007
Earnings in 2018: $16 million (did not make list in 2017)

Seán William McLoughlin, known for his gameplay videos and sketch comedy, has made money off a Disney series and live-streaming on Twitch.

7. VanossGaming

Rachel Murray | Getty Images

YouTube personality Evan Fong attends the 6th Annual Thirst Gala on June 30, 2015.

Age: 26
Number of YouTube subscribers: 23.9 million
Year he joined YouTube: 2011
Earnings in 2018: $17 million (versus $15.5 million in 2017)

Evan Fong, known as VanossGaming online, is a video game commentator who makes money, in part, through live-streaming.

6. Markiplier

Alberto E. Rodriguez | Getty Images

Markiplier attends the sixth biennial Stand Up To Cancer telecast at the Barkar Hangar on Friday, September 7, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

Age: 29
Number of Youtube subscribers: 22.6 million
Year he joined YouTube: 2012
Earnings in 2018: $17.5 million (versus $12.5 million in 2017)

Mark Fischbach, who goes by Markiplier on YouTube, shares gaming videos, original comedy sketches and animated parodies. He makes his money through brand deals and his clothing line.

5. Jeffree Star

Tara Ziemba | Getty Images

Jeffree Star attends the 3rd Annual RuPaul’s DragCon on April 29, 2017.

Age: 33
Number of Youtube subscribers: 11.6 million
Year he joined YouTube: 2006
Earnings in 2018: $18 million (Star did not make this list in 2017)

Jeffree Star is best known for his makeup tutorials and reviews. He also owns his own makeup company Jeffree Star Cosmetics.

4. DanTDM

David M. Benett | Getty Images

DanTDM attends the European Premiere of “Ralph Breaks The Internet’”on November 25, 2018.

Age: 27
Number of YouTube subscribers: 20.7 million
Year he joined YouTube: 2012
Earnings in 2018: $18.5 million (versus $16.5 million in 2017)

Daniel Robert Middleton, most known for his Minecraft gameplay and reaction videos, also profits off his own branded merchandise.

3. Dude Perfect

Stephen Lovekin | Getty Images

Dude Perfect at #YTMeetup at Skylight at Moynihan Station on April 29, 2015 in New York City.

Ages: The group’s five members range from 28 to 33 years old
Number of YouTube subscribers: 37.3 million
Year they joined YouTube: 2009
Earnings in 2018: $20 million (versus $14 million in 2017)

Tyler Toney, Coby Cotton, Cory Cotton, Cody Jones and Garrett Hilbert perform sport-related tricks and comedy sketches and sell their own merchandise.

2. Jake Paul

Photo by Image Group LA

Social media star Jake Paul

Age: 21
Number of YouTube subscribers: 17.5 million
Year he joined YouTube: 2013
Earnings in 2018: $21.5 million (versus $11.5 in 2017)

Jake Paul, known for his pranks and reaction videos, sells his own merchandise and has even broken into the music industry.

1. Ryan ToysReview

Ryan ToysReview | YouTube

Ryan ToysReview sees his new toy collection in Walmart for the first time in a video uploaded to YouTube on August 6, 2018.

Age: 8
Number of YouTube subscribers: 17.4 million
Year he joined YouTube: 2015
Earnings in 2018: $22 million (versus $11 million in 2017)

Ryan often stars alongside his parents and twin sisters as they unbox and review toys and blog about family life. Ryan has a toy and clothing line sold at Walmart and Target.

The Future of Influencer Marketing is Bright

In the past advertising used to be more overt but now the peer-to-peer influence has become more primary as more platforms can allow people to go viral with their creative contributions.

With the rise of micro video apps it’s highly likely crypto and digital assets will become the incentives of such apps, to both attract, gain and retain users and creators building influencer marketing channels of the future.

GenZ are building the internet that they want, and blockchain is likely to be a part of it with dApp ecosystems, smart contracts and a new layer of the internet on top of older apps like YouTube, Instagram and less popular apps such as TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn. There will probably be an entire new wave of apps based upon cryptoeconomic transactions and incentives, where even audiences, curators and compilers and not just creators are incentivized.

I’m also very involved in YEAY, a word-of-mouth app where GenZ shows its style making production recommendations in the retail and fashion space that is now powered by the WOM Protocol. I post actively on LinkedIn. I cover Gen Z and blockchain trends while working to build more honest recommendations in how word-of-mouth will scale with blockchain on a more ethical, inclusive and ad-free internet.

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