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Table of Contents
3
2
Table of Contents
1 Introduction
2 About
3 Methodology
4 Category Overview
6 Gaming
7 Kids & Toys
8 Spanish Language
9 Best All-Around
5 The Digital A-List
3
About
The following list is comprised of the top 100 social influencers with the
most real-time relevance, based on total 90-day engagements across their
YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels and ranked. A straight
ranking of 1 to 100 was obscuring much of the talent and trends identified
in the process, so this list is comprised of five categories. Each individual
category highlights a tremendous area in the Influencer space.
4
The ZEFR 100
*Ranking based on total 90-day engagements across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Digital A-List
90 Day Engagement
164,794,049
161,832,559
154,463,999
122,472,578
111,651,176
92,183,149
90,051,302
88,186,441
83,958,951
82,572,733
76,968,170
75,651,938
66,539,241
62,202,505
59,544,478
53,356,241
52,551,847
48,919,107
48,115,341
46,710,611
Name
Sub-Category: Minecraft
1. Rhett and Link
2. Roman Atwood
3. Aaron DeBoer
4. Rachel Levin
5. Cameron Dallas
6. Huda Heidi Kattan
7. The Fine Brothers
8. What’s Inside?
9. CrazyRussianHacker
10. Superwoman
11. Dudeperfect
12. GizmoSlip
13. W2S
14. TechRax
15. Mo Vlogs
16. DramaAlert
17. My Superheroes
IRL
18. Lele Pons
19. Eva Gutowski
20. Ryan Higa
Sub-Category: General Gaming
Name
Gaming
1. DanTDM
2. PopularMMOs
3. WillyRex
4. jacksepticeye
5. Little Kelly Minecraft
6. Markiplier
7. Aphmau
8. Ian Stapleton
9. Little Carly Minecraft
10. LittleLizardGaming - Minecraft Mods!
1. PewDiePie
2. Kwebbelkop
3. FGTeeV
4. FaZe Apex
5. FaZe Rain
6. MasterOv
7. M3RKMUS1C
8. FaZe Adapt
9. miniminter
10. Brofresco
Data frozen as of June 1, 2016
90 Day Engagement
426,307,659
260,707,963
191,102,094
121,335,386
112,333,343
94,239,973
87,132,458
77,575,311
61,960,319
56,680,471
501,940,504
123,959,244
91,168,164
65,121,906
62,256,049
60,894,808
58,975,727
55,577,447
52,697,135
48,408,113
5
The ZEFR 100
*Ranking based on total 90-day engagements across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
90 Day Engagement
1. CookieSwirlC
2. Toys and Funny Kids Surprise Eggs
3. SR Toys Collection
4. Surprise Eggs unboxing toys
5. Ryan Toys Review
6. ToyMonster
7. Videogyan 3D Rhymes Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs
8. |Hailey’s Magical Playhouse
(Surprise Toys)
9. PomPom
10. SevenSuperGirls
11. FunToyzCollector
12. DisneyCarToys
13. Its Baby Big Mouth
14. DisneyCARS
15. Toy Trains 4u
16. Toy Freaks
17. DisneyToysFan
18. SevenPerfectAngels
19. Come Play With Me
20. Toy Genie Surprises
251,771,446
246,808,118
222,770,922
222,646,389
222,107,843
221,692,025
215,421,930
181,726,099
166,681,624
160,059,841
153,405,644
124,228,364
121,301,343
117,030,271
107,785,358
100,117,550
93,748,939
82,874,101
80,334,841
78,726,239
Name
1. JuegaGerman
2. Fernanfloo
3. VEGETTA777
4. TheGrefg
5. elrubiusOMG
6. Mejores Juguetes
7. J Balvin
8. Werevertumorro
9. Enchufe.tv
10. Sebastián Vilalobos
11. DjMaRiiO
12. MALUMA
13. Folagor03
14. Los Juguetes de Titi
15. Los Polinesios
16. Juanpa Zurita
17. NickyJamTV
18. Mario Bautista
19. Gona89
20. ExpCaseros
Best All-Around
90 Day Engagement
Name
90 Day Engagement Score
1. Cameron Dallas
2. Dan Howell
3. RomanAtwood
4. Caspar Lee
5. DanAndPhilGAMES
6. Ethan Dolan
7. Markiplier
8. Hayes Grier
9. Joe Sugg
10. Troye Sivan
11. Connor Franta
12. PewDiePie
13. Chris Collins
14. Nash Grier
15. Alfie Deyes
16. kidrauhl
17. 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER
18. Johnny Orlando
19. Casey Neistat
20. Tyler Oakley
99.68
99.43
99.39
99.31
99.30
99.05
99.03
99.01
98.94
98.94
98.90
98.85
98.78
98.75
98.74
98.74
98.52
98.51
98.50
98.46
*Cross-Platform Engagement Score ranks based on relative level of influence on
social platforms plus the relative importance of each platform.
Data frozen as of June 1, 2016
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279,911,051
201,961,472
138,547,377
98,452,763
87,998,247
75,588,663
74,466,107
70,414,320
62,521,343
61,260,195
51,076,986
49,158,244
48,980,175
42,870,589
42,747,811
40,137,270
40,303,844
37,991,128
36,897,467
35,831,601
Sub-Category: Minecraft
Name
Spanish Language
Sub-Category: The Rest
Kids & Toys
Methodology
ZEFR’s Influencer Management System (IMS) tracks
audience response on billions of social posts each
day across millions of potential influencer accounts.
Audience response is measured in engagements,
which we define as any deliberate viewer actions on a
post. Of the millions of social creators considered, only
about 78,000 are verified as influencers in IMS based
on their ability to meet brand safety guidelines and
to clear platform-specific engagement thresholds on
multiple pieces of content within a quarter.
While we looked at four social platforms (YouTube,
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) due to the higher
engagement ratings that are naturally associated
with video content, Influencers with a strong YouTube
presence appeared the most in our results.
With this in mind, we honed in on some of these trends
specifically for that platform.
7
Category Overview
Digital A-List
Stars who found success
organically on digital
platforms
Kids & Toys
From unboxing toys to
finding surprise eggs,
content that combines
excitement of a new
toy with education and
beyond
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Gaming
Strategy guides, tips and
unique adventures through
animation and voiceovers
in virtual worlds
Spanish Language
Content that speaks to
unique life experiences,
not just ethnic identity
Best All Around
A weighted cross-platform
ranking (YouTube, Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram) based
on relative level of influence
on social platforms plus the
relative importance of each
platform
Digital A-List
9
Digital A-List
Overview
What makes an Influencer a Digital
A-Lister?
They might not all have traditional
talent found in media, like singing or
acting, but what they do have is an
ability to engage millions of strangers
just by acting like goofy, relatable
people. They have energy that lasts
for days on end, or at least appear
to, but they’ll also let fans know when
they’re feeling down. They seem to
show every side of themselves to
their viewers, which makes viewers
want to open up to them in return.
This all basically boils down to
personality. Digital A-Listers have
got it. They excel at being “real” and
gaining their fans’ trust. By opening
up about their own personal lives,
whether that means coming out as
LGBT, talking about being the child
of immigrant parents, introducing
viewers to their siblings/friends, or
opening up about other internal
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struggles, they offer advice from a
place of authenticity. Many of their
audience members are younger or
tuning in because they have no one
else to turn to who matches their
demographic or talks openly about
experiencing the same issues they’re
going through. These viewers aren’t
passively watching Digital A-Listers
like they would a TV show—they’re
hanging onto their words. They’re
engaged.
As a brand, there’s no better
ambassador for your products
than an entertainer who can foster
engagement. Since being genuine
and likeable is the cornerstone of any
Influencers identity, they’ll choose
to endorse only the products they
truly believe in. Doing any less would
be at the risk of alienating their
audiences, and when it comes down
to it, an Influencer’s audience is the
crux of what they have.
Digital A-List
Trends
React Videos
Captures raw, authentic reactions to
experiences (made famous by The Fine
Brothers).
Challenge Videos
A digital dare - when fans or other
Influencers task an Influencer with a
challenge.
Sketches
A skit (often in the form of a comedy or oneperson playing multiple characters).
Pranks
Trapping an unsuspecting target while
capturing their reactions.
Science and Experiments
Step-by-step, execution of science
experiments from home.
Extreme Sports
High intensity action sports.
Vlogs
Video blogs - a direct link into an Influencers
thoughts.
Tour My Life
A form of vlogging - captures a unique
experience or an outrageous lifestyle.
Makeup/Beauty/Fashion
Tutorials
How to guide for fashion, makeup and
beauty advice.
DIY
Do It Yourself and How-To Guides.
Superhero Cosplay
Costume play - the act of dressing up like
a character from comic book, movie, video
game, etc.
International
Beyond borders.
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Digital A-List
Influencer #1 and Featured Channel
Rhett and Link
With a robust presence across multiple
social platforms and two YouTube
channels, Rhett and Link have truly carved
a career out of being engaging on digital
media. A longtime staple of the YouTube
community, the childhood best friend duo
have been active on the platform since
2006—just a year after its invention—with
some of the earliest big name users, like
ShayCarl (of the family channel Shaytards)
and Alphacat (you might know him for his
spot-on Barack Obama impressions).
165 M
90-Day Engagement
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Overall, Rhett & Link’s videos tend to pay
serious homage to their native platform by
“intertaining” (their term for being digital
entertainers). Their morning talk show,
Good Mythical Morning, now boasts
traditional celebrity guests like Amy
Schumer and Daniel Radcliffe, the two
have to maintain their YouTube presence
because that’s where their fans are, and
they would be nothing without the fans who
decided to make them famous enough
to interview celebrities on a YouTube
channel.
As for their YouTube homages, Rhett &
Link’s library of content is a best practices
guide for how to create digital content,
whether they are Epic Rap Battles, food
challenges, or original parody music
videos.
Digital A-List
Influencer #2
Roman Atwood
Influencer #3
Aaron DeBoer
Influencer #4
Rachel Levin
162 M
154 M
122 M
Pranking and vlogging—two of the
largest video trends and Roman Atwood
does them both in separate, dedicated
YouTube channels: RomanAtwood and
RomanAtwoodVlogs. It helps to be at once
both relatable and outrageous, so these
channels have got Atwood covered.
Aaron DeBoer has grown up this year.
After building his brand around Drive Thru
Pranks, his content has shifted to a major
trend: superhero cosplay (costume play).
Featuring both adults and kids playing
characters like Spider-Man and Disney
Princesses, has tailored his content for the
two separate audiences.
Putting a spin on the familiar, Rachel
Levin has built a brand around translating
beloved franchises (like Disney
Princesses) and digital mainstays (listicles)
into relatable, humorous everyday
scenarios.
90-Day Engagement
90-Day Engagement
While creating kid friendly content, DeBoer
creates separate content with an adult
edge. Think WWE fights - in terms of props
and acting skills, the actors really look
like they’re injuring each other, bashing
each other over the head with household
equipment and fighting on trampolines,
sound effects included.
90-Day Engagement
See: “Disney Princess Carpool Ride”
and “If Google Was a Girl” (a spin on
CollegeHumor’s popular “If Google Was a
Guy”)
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Digital A-List
Influencer #5
Cameron Dallas
Influencer #6
Huda Heidi Kattan The Fine Brothers
112 M
92 M
While finding success in short-form content
on Vine, Cameron Dallas has mined the art
of taking short content to build out monthly,
long-form content (reaction videos, fan
mail, and vlogs).
Beauty vlogger Huda Heidi Kattan appeals
to large audiences, creating videos in both
English and Arabic. Kattan’s DIY makeup
lessons act as a beauty school for her
viewers, but it’s not your average beauty
school (see: face shaving for women and
instant facelifts). Kattan is not shy about
sharing her experiences with minor plastic
surgery, like lip fillers and Botox.
90-Day Engagement
Fans crave an in-depth look into
Influencers lives and Dallas has figured out
how to give fans the best of both worlds.
This young heartthrob has also transitioned
into more traditional acting, with a lead
role in AwesomenssTV’s “Expelled” and
appearnces on TV shows like NBC’s
“American Odyssey.”
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Influencer #7
90-Day Engagement
90 M
90-Day Engagement
The Fine brothers, comprised of Benny and Rafi,
started making videos together pre-YouTube,
eventually moving to Los Angeles and starting
their channel in 2007. They’ve built quite the
empire since, thanks to having unearthed a
YouTube goldmine in the form of React videos.
React started with the Fines’ “Kids React” series
in 2010, where kids were recorded reacting to
content like viral videos and video games. The
nature of the series is at once comedic and
insightful—raw emotion from children combined
with a critical look and what’s widely popular in
entertainment. The React franchise has grown to
encompass elders, teens and Influencers. The
YouTubers React videos have inspired some
replicate this on their own channels, where it’s
gotten pretty meta (reacting to someone reacting
to their own videos).
Digital A-List
Influencer #8
What’s Inside?
88 M
90-Day Engagement
Built around a simple but compelling
concept, “What’s Inside?” unboxes objects
from fireworks to Porta Potties to their
own YouTube Silver Play Button (which
Creators receive as a congratulations
from the platform for hitting 100,000
subscribers).
The father/son team that runs the channel
got the idea from the latter’s second grade
science project, in which they cut various
sports balls in half to see what was inside.
(i.e. a rotating saw blade cutting open a
fire extinguisher).
Influencer #9
CrazyRussianHacker
84 M
90-Day Engagement
For fans of: Consumer Test Labs for Hot Dog
Making Gadgets
In the vein of channels like What’s Inside?,
CrazyRussianHacker (Taras Kulakov) performs
science experiments in his videos, which always
start with a branding bump that includes the
hammer and sickle, alluding to his Russian roots
(Kulakov was born there before moving to the
US). Always beginning with a catchphrase that
names “safety the number one priority” he keeps
parents happy enough to let their kids watch
him blow things up and set them on fire. Since
he narrates his experiments step by step, his
videos encourage high watch times, since every
step of an experiment is essential to its success.
His channel’s appeal goes beyond pyrotechnics
and enters the realm of helpful “life hacks” and
product demos, which lets older viewers into his
audience demographic.
Influencer #10
Superwoman
83 M
90-Day Engagement
A first-generation Canadian born to Indian
parents, Superwoman (Lilly Singh) is
known for her sketch videos, in which she,
plays all of the characters. She’s been
at this for long enough that viewers have
gotten to know her “characters”
Her popularity has led to her make a
separate channel for vlogs, go on an
international tour, and make a YouTube
Red original movie. Her videos strike a
chord with other first-generation kids.
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Digital A-List
Influencer #11
Dude Perfect
78 M
90-Day Engagement
Having gained enough traction to feature
non-digital celebrities in their videos
(drone racing with Liam Hemsworth and
Jeff Goldblum) and attention from ESPN,
the former college roommates (two of
whom are twins), have made a living from
living the dude dream.
Now in their late twenties, the group have
made a full-time job out of playing action
sports.
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Influencer #12
GizmoSlip
76 M
90-Day Engagement
Influencer #13
W2S
67 M
90-Day Engagement
Can an iPhone survive a 100-foot drop
protected by a pineapple, dirty diaper,
Jello-O invention? Curiosity, consistency,
and the use of explosives drives
engagement around the joy of watching
electronics explode.
Harry Lewis, the man behind W2S (short
for his original handle, wroetoshaw) is an
early twenties, British soccer fan who plays
both virtual soccer (FIFA) and the sport
in real life. The latter he spices up with
challenge videos (Slip ‘n’ Slide Soccer).
Featured personality: Brandon Baldwin the
much cooler and competent man-living-inhis-parents’-basement Guy Next Door.
Additional, W2S is part of a UK-based
Influencer collboration Ultimate Sidemen
(including fellow ZEFR 100 Influencer
Miniminter).
Digital A-List
Influencer #14
TechRax
62 M
90-Day Engagement
Attempting to destroy technology (mainly
smartphones) in any way possible,
TechRax (Ukranian-born Taras Maksimuk)
stretches the imagination when it comes to
testing device durability.
The channel started out as a technology
tips and review hub, but it’s since evolved
to its current entertainment-geared format.
Influencer #15
Mo Vlogs
60 M
90-Day Engagement
This Dubai-based vlogger revels in his
city’s luxury lifestyle, showcasing fast
cars and cash-fueled events alongside
his sister, who’s a regular on the channel.
Here, voyeurs from around the world get
a peek into a lifestyle that usually exists
solely in their dreams (racing Bugattis,
collecting extravagant accessories and
cars).
Influencer #16
DramaAlert
53 M
90-Day Engagement
Shock value garners engagement on and
off YouTube, and DramaAlert knows just
how to exploit this entertainment genre.
Like TMZ or People, DramaAlert digs
up the dirt on digital (and traditional)
celebrities.
Most popular video: The Most Expensive
Car Event in the World ( 10MM+ views)
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Digital A-List
Influencer #17
My Superheroes IRL
53 M
90-Day Engagement
With 100% dedication to superhero
cosplay, these Influencers keep it real
while still filming their epic fight scenes
with living room backdrops.
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Influencer #18
Lele Pons
49 M
90-Day Engagement
Having gained popularity on Vine,
Venezuela-born Lele Pons only recently
leveraged that audience to get YouTube
views. She started her YouTube channel
in April 2016 and within two months, is
nearing 500,000 subscribers. The spirit of
her Vine content translates well, with fellow
Viners appearing on her YouTube channel,
and themes from her six-second videos
now expanded into full minutes worth of
video.
Influencer #19
Eva Gutowski
48 M
90-Day Engagement
Eva Gutowski covers the content bases
with original music videos, parodies of
navigating high school problems, DIY
videos, and fashion vlogs. She posts
weekly and makes sure to involve her
audiences by being at once quirky,
inspirational, and straightforward in her
DIY tutorials.
Digital A-List
Influencer #20
Ryan Higa
47 M
90-Day Engagement
Ryan Higa is a YouTube personality
and actor. He is known for his YouTube
comedy videos, which have been viewed
over 2.0 billion times.
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Gaming
20
Gaming
Overview
You’ve likely heard of PewDiePie,
YouTube’s biggest gaming channel
(not to mention its biggest channel
run by an individual creator), but
what other Influencers populate the
surprisingly saturated gaming genre
on the platform? For that matter, what
even makes up this genre, and why
does it matter?
The popularity of gaming videos
on YouTube—largely “Let’s Plays,”
in which a gamer simply plays a
game while providing entertaining
commentary and pro tips—is
through the roof. Influencers in the
gaming category have figured out
how to grab and hold the attention
of this demographic so effectively
that engagement rankings in this
category soar above and beyond
those in other genres. Gamers can
be a picky and private community,
communicating via jargon that makes
little sense to those on the outside.
But put them in front of these gamer
influencers and they’ll sit, watch,
and listen for 15 minutes straight—a
lifetime when you consider the length
of a typical video in the digital space
(2-3 minutes).
But what exactly captivates this
audience, especially when they
could be playing these video
games themselves instead of
watching others do it for them?
There are several reasons. First of
all, Influencers in the gaming space
provide strategy guides and tips
and tricks to their viewers. They’re
considered experts in their fields,
those being either specific games
or all games when it comes to the
platform’s jack-of-all-trades gamers.
Secondly, these Influencers tend
to do more than just gaming. They
create vlog-like content in which they
spout their opinions about pretty
much any topic under the sun,
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These Influencers also make their
viewers feel like they’re part of a
community. The epically popular
Felix Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie, calls
his followers “Bros,” creating a cult
of serious fans who may not feel like
they belong anywhere else.
Gamers on YouTube make a living
from only gaming and making
videos out of it. It’s hard to think of
a career that a video game loving
13-year-old would rather aspire to.
Furthermore, the fact that this is their
livelihood gives Influencers in this
space power. They have nothing
else to do but play and critique video
games, and a bad review from a
popular influencer could mean the
early death of a new game. They
also review gaming equipment
and related products, ranging from
consoles to energy drinks.
22
Gaming
Trends
Across the Genre
Stream of Consciousness
YouTube gamers tend to keep up a constant
stream of narration as they play.
Animated Gameplay VO
Gamers commission an animator to turn
their gameplay narration into an animated
video.
Original Songs
Songs that glorify or parody popular video
games often show up on gamers’ channels,
though they’re often accompanied by
animated music videos created by other
YouTubers.
Merch
Gamers with larger YouTube presences
often have recognizable logos that work well
on t-shirts and other merchandise, which
they sell via online stores.
Reacting (Meta)
Taking the typical YouTube “React”
format and making it meta, gamers will
make videos in which they react to their
older videos and critique their video edit,
gameplay ability, etc.
Slither.io
A multi-player game played on web
browsers in which each player controls a
snake with the aim of eating other snakes in
the game and growing larger.
Signature Look
Whether it’s bright green hair or a pink polo
and headband, YouTube gamers cultivate a
unique look to stand out from the numerous
other gamers on the platform.
Character Crossovers
In Minecraft, gamers will play out the
wedding in Frozen or enact a Five Nights
at Freddy’s parody. Merging two popular
franchises makes for an even higher
likelihood of viewership.
Fandom
It’s not only gamers who name their fans on
YouTube, but it certainly reoccurs throughout
the genre. PewDiePie call his fans Bros,
Kwebbelkop calls his Kops, and Brofresco
calls his Pimps and Players.
Screaming
Essential attribute of Let’s Play narration.
Walkthrough
A video in which a gamer moves
through a game while explaining tips
and tricks. Basically, a video strategy
guide for viewers.
International
Gaming is an international language.
Let’s Play
A video of someone playing a videogame
supplemented by the gamer’s commentary.
23
Gaming
Macro Trend
Minecraft
Minecraft
Videos focused on the game Minecraft in which players build their own
worlds or explore ones generated at random by the game. Players can
craft, mine, fight, and gather resources. Videos about this game are wildly
popular on YouTube.
Animation
A category of its own, animation
videos featuring Minecraft characters
has become a staple of the YouTube
gaming category.
24
Mods
In Minecraft, mods stands for
modification, and they alter the game
by changing the setting, speed,
graphics, etc. Users can make mods
using coder packs for Minecraft.
Voiceover
Just by adding voiceover, many a
Minecraft gamer on YouTube turns
their gameplay into a scripted sketch,
or even a series.
General Gaming
Influencer #2
Influencer #1 and Featured Channel
PewDiePie
What makes PewDiePie this vastly
popular? Above all, it’s his personality.
Like every successful Let’s Player on
YouTube, it’s all about his personality and
charisma. His overall demeanor, sound
effects, and the fact that his reactions
to video games—or whatever else he’s
reacting to—feel genuine keep him honest
in the face of his followers, the Bros (it’s a
YouTube trend to name your loyal fans, as
it gives them an identity associated with
your channel).
Kwebbelkop
124 M
90-Day Engagement
Based in the Netherlands, Kwebbelkop
hones in on the funny moments of his
Let’s Plays more explicitly than a lot
of Let’s Players, in part just by putting
“Funny Moments” in his video titles. He
often participates in group gaming, and
the atmosphere on the channel is one
of extreme, lively fun with lots of friends.
Kwebbelkop’s games of choice? As of late,
they’re GTA 5 and Happy Wheels.
502 M
90-Day Engagement
25
General Gaming
Influencer #3
FGTeeV
91 M
90-Day Engagement
Taking the popularity of gaming and
combining it with family, this Influencer
as a unique hybrid of family gaming.
This channel features mom, dad, three
sons, and one daughter, along with dad’s
twin brother…not to mention that the
kids have a channel of their own called
TheSkylanderBoy AndGirl. FGTeeV is
really the perfect marriage between a
gaming YouTube channel and a kids’
YouTube channel.
26
Influencer #4
FaZe Apex
Influencer #5
FaZe Rain
65 M
62 M
A member of the FaZe Clan, a professional
esports team, FaZe Apex has a channel
with a surprisingly low number of Let’s
Plays compared to the sketches, vlogs,
pranks, and attempts to break records
IRL (In Real Life) as opposed to on the
leaderboard.
Being another member of the FaZe Clan,
FaZe Rain features FaZe Apex and other
familiar FaZes on his channel. The channel
is almost more reminiscent of a YouTube
boy band channel (like our2ndlife, who’ve
since branched out to pursue solo careers)
than a gamer clan. FaZe Rain focuses a lot
on life in the FaZe household, because of
course all the clan members live together!
He’s also got some prank and react videos
to round out his YouTube presence, but
he still doesn’t let Call of Duty gameplay
completely fall by the wayside.
90-Day Engagement
90-Day Engagement
General Gaming
Influencer #6
MasterOv
61 M
90-Day Engagement
With a clear focus on Slither.io, MasterOv
knows the game well enough to have
plenty of fun with it, whether he’s making
“skins” of other Let’s Players—including
several on this list, like PewDiePie and
Jacksepticeye—or offering suggestions to
the game’s developers. MasterOv gets his
engagement because he’s so responsive
to his fans. He fulfills their requests, solicits
their opinions, and spells out his Slither.io
strategy by drawing his tactics in a box in
the corner of his screen.
Influencer #7
M3RKMUS1C
59 M
90-Day Engagement
Honesty tends to be the best policy on
YouTube, and M3RKMUS1C embodies
this with real critiques of the franchise
he loves—Call of Duty. Engagement
also comes his way via shock value,
with multiple thumbnails that feature his
face with a stunned expression and read
“OMG,” “OMFG,” “WTF,” and “YES!”
Influencer #8
FaZe Adapt
56 M
90-Day Engagement
Like the other FaZe channels on this list,
FaZe Adapt leans more towards the style
of a vlogger than it does your average
YouTube gamer. His sister appears on
the channel, he gives “tours” of his daily
life, and plays Call of Duty IRL with his
fellow FaZe Clan members. The multiple
members, and thus channels, in the FaZe
Clan provides a natural and constant way
to cross-promote.
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General Gaming
Influencer #9
Miniminter
53 M
90-Day Engagement
A true FIFA fan, Miniminter does not hold
back his enthusiasm for the game and
sport it virtually captures. His real love
for the game and deep knowledge of
the players makes him the perfect brand
ambassador. Miniminter’s channel is so
focused on FIFA that he needs an entirely
separate channel for his Let’s Plays of
“random games.”
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Influencer #10
Brofresco
48 M
90-Day Engagement
With his signature pink polo and
headband, Brofresco has cultivated not
only a look but also a signature elbow
tap. He opts for more of an instructional
angle when it comes to his Let’s Plays, an
angle that makes him valuable for game
developers who want to put their products
within reach of the average to below
average player. Learning the tips and
tricks will rarely fail to get someone more
invested in a video game.
Minecraft
Influencer #1
DanTDM
426 M
90-Day Engagement
Like many a successful Let’s Player on
YouTube, DanTDM keeps his viewers
watching by avoiding dead air at all
costs. He hardly pauses to take a breath
in many of his videos, and his stream of
consciousness as he explores Minecraft
mod after Minecraft mod stays consistently
clever. He does this, in part, by playing
every time like it’s his first time—he always
manages to act surprised at the right
moments. Also like many a Let’s Player, he
has some semblance of a signature look—
namely his blue hair, which is replicated in
his Minecraft avatar.
As a Minecraft gamer on YouTube,
DanTDM effectively explores all aspects
of the game while also managing to keep
his channel fresh. He breaks up the
Minecraft focus with Let’s Plays of free
online games and Five Nights at Freddy’s
(the latter being unavoidable if you were
a gamer on YouTube this past year),
and he knows how to make his time in
the world of Minecraft more interesting.
For one, he switches between challenge
videos, mod showcases, minigames, and
a whole series on Minecraft character Dr.
Trayaurus, whom DanTDM has given an
elaborate life of his own.
Overall, DanTDM understands how
to make YouTube gaming his career.
His consistent uploads keep fans from
disappointment. His way with words and
addressing his audience members keep
them feeling like a part of his world. His
focus on one, incredibly popular game
makes him an expert. Viewers defer to his
advice when it comes to Minecraft. And,
DanTDM has an online merch store so
fans can buy clothing and bags with his
logo —the true mark of being a successful
YouTube Let’s Player.
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Minecraft
Influencer #2
PopularMMOs
260 M
90-Day Engagement
Though Pat is the central personality on
this channel, his wife Jen makes just as
much of an appearance these days, and
the two banter back and forth as they play
Minecraft and Slither.io. Because there
are two of them on the channel, playing
large volumes of challenge games comes
naturally, and they also both voice the few
animated Minecraft videos. While many
gamers on YouTube show their faces in
a box in the top corner of the screen, Pat
relies solely on narration and his avatars to
keep fans interested.
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Influencer #3
WillyRex
191 M
90-Day Engagement
With one channel focused on general
gaming and another solely dedicated to
Minecraft, this prolific, Spanish speaking
creator sprinkles his channel with nongameplay videos. He might take a tour of
an independent game developers’ studio
to round out his expertise in this YouTube
niche, or he’ll work with other YouTubers
who sing and animate to produce original
Minecraft homage songs.
Influencer #4
Jacksepticeye
121 M
90-Day Engagement
One of the better known Let’s Players on
YouTube, this Ireland-based gamer has
also worked with YouTube animators to
give new life to his gaming voiceovers. His
involvement with other YouTube gamers
also runs deep. He has an established
relationship with PewDiePie, the platform’s
biggest gamer who also happened to
shout out his channel years ago, helping
launch Jacksepticeye to YouTube fame.
Though he abandoned Minecraft videos
a while back, he still revisits them in his
“react to my old videos” content.
Minecraft
Influencer #5
Little Kelly Minecraft
112 M
90-Day Engagement
An Irish gamer, “Little Kelly” figures as
a main character in a story that plays
out in the world of Minecraft, released
episodically on a daily basis. The channel
also uses Minecraft to play out stories
featuring popular franchises, like Frozen
and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and
skews more towards female viewers than
your average gaming channel. There’s
some animation, here, but largely the
stories move forward thanks to a mix of
clever voiceover and Minecraft gameplay.
Influencer #6
Markiplier
94 M
90-Day Engagement
Another gaming giant on YouTube,
Markiplier has his signature, radioworthy voice that makes listening to him
narrate gameplays so enjoyable. Though
he branches out from gaming content
to indulge in other YouTube tropes like
challenge videos, he’s at heart a Let’s
Player, exploring a wide variety of some
of the most bizarre games developers
have to offer. The weirder the game, the
better it makes for offhanded, hilarious
comments—a YouTube Let’s Player’s
bread and butter.
Influencer #7
Aphmau
87 M
90-Day Engagement
Using the tactic of creating an “animated”
looking series by narrating over Minecraft
gameplay, this Influencer shows off
some serious writing chops with highly
developed plotlines. She describes her
channel as “Minecraft roleplay.”
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Minecraft
Influencer #8
Ian Stapleton
Influencer #9
Little Carly Minecraft
78 M
62 M
Known as Ssundee on YouTube, Ian
Stapleton plays, reviews and competes in
Minecraft. His over-the-top personality and
propensity for screaming helps make his
Let’s Plays especially engaging.
Part of the “Little Club” with Little Kelly and
Little Lizard, Little Carly has moments of
basically vlogging as she (well, her avatar)
walks through Minecraft. In fact, much of
the content on this channel would look like
a live action YouTube channel if it were two
real girls, and not Minecraft characters,
starring in each video.
90-Day Engagement
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90-Day Engagement
Influencer #10
LittleLizardGaming
-Minecraft Mods!
57 M
90-Day Engagement
Producing Minecraft content specifically
targeted towards young kids, Little
Lizard’s plot-oriented videos often unfold
at daycare, where the Lizard hangs
out with other diaper-wearing Minecraft
companions. The channel also riffs on
popular YouTube trends like Five Nights
at Freddy’s and prank videos, all while
remaining in the world of Minecraft.
Kids and Toys
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Kids and Toys
Overview
Welcome to the unboxing category the new Saturday morning for Kids.
Once upon a time, kids woke up
bright and early for the only time of
the week dedicated to a full morning
of cartoons. The mornings were
filled with seamless intersection of
content and toys – as scenes from
Transformers introduced characters
that would later appear in ads. Kids
in the ads showed pure excitement
as they open boxes and play with
their latest action figures.
Many years have passed, but the
same excitement around unboxing
continues, but outside the limits of
not only Saturday mornings, but also
from a 30 second ad.
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The thoroughness of the unboxing
videos should appeal to kids and
brands alike. Kids get to feel like
they’re the ones opening the toys
due to the high level of exploration,
and brands know that someone’s
doing justice to their product with the
attention to detail that is the hallmark
of unboxing videos.
Another device we see across
this category is making toys into
“puppets” and putting on shows
for kids. Sure, kids love cartoons,
but animating is a difficult, timeconsuming, expensive process that
takes patience if not skilled.
With more time, there is more time
for exploration, more time to discover
easter eggs and more opportunities
for education tie ins.
Kids and Toys
Trends
Unboxing
Opening a package and showcasing what’s
inside, piece-by-piece.
Educational
Learning component.
Surprise Eggs
A surprise to unbox (origins: Kinder Surprise
Eggs - a chocolate egg with a toy inside).
Songs & Nursery Rhymes
Superhero Cosplay
Since YouTube’s youngest audience
members might have minimal
understanding of language, songs prove
to be the universal tongue. The Finger
Family song stands out as a unique
phenomenon within this category.
Sdults and children dressing up in superhero
outfits and acting out scenes.
Sight and Sound
Aimed at pre-verbal and international
viewers, videos targeted towards kids will
often opt for music, sound effects, and
visual elements to substitute for dialogue.
“Puppet” Shows
Using hands to move the toys with a
voiceover (and a little creativity).
Gameplay
These videos capture creators playing childfriendly games like Minecraft, sometimes to
a nursery rhyme soundtrack.
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Kids and Toys
Influencer #1 and Featured Channel:
CookieSwirlSC
Mostly, CookieSwirlSC’s videos exemplify
the unboxing genre, featuring an excitable
voiceover and an out-of-frame narrator
whose hands only appear on screen.
Everything from the verbal descriptions to
the camera angles, make viewers feel like
they’re the ones personally unboxing their
new Shopkins set.
252 M
90-Day Engagement
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Influencer #2
Toys and Funny
Kids Surprise Eggs
247 M
90-Day Engagement
With high quality Claymation starring kids’
favorite characters (from Spider-Man to Peppa
Pig) accompanying classic unboxing videos,
this channel hardly needs to rely on narration
to keep viewers engaged. Music alone plays
as on-screen hands open the toys, which are
often Kinder Surprise Eggs, and the animation
uses sound effects to convey emotion,
appealing to pre-verbal audiences. This
channel also includes videos in which actual
kids perform the unboxing, and it makes an
effort to appeal to viewers around the world
by featuring text in the language of the toys’
origins. Reaches out to audiences outside of
English speaking countries.
Kids and Toys
Influencer #3
SR Toys
Collection
Influencer #4
Surprise Eggs
Unboxing Toys
223 M
223 M
This channel also uses toys as teaching
tools, narrating the colors of Surprise Eggs
as they’re broken apart by the hands on
screen.
Cross-promoting with Toys and Funny Kids
Surprise Eggs, this channel hosts similar
content, ranging from skillful Play-Doh
stop motion to Surprise Egg “unboxings.”
This channel takes the Surprise Egg trend
to another level with an animated video
showcasing fictional eggs. It turns out that
the pleasure of revealing the toy inside the
egg extends beyond the pleasure of there
being an actual toy or egg. Surprise Egg
videos on YouTube have truly taken on a
life, or a genre, of their own.
90-Day Engagement
90-Day Engagement
Influencer #5
Ryan Toys
Review
222 M
90-Day Engagement
Ryan Toys Reviews stars Ryan, a kid
who loves to play with toys. This channel
includes branded content, like a video
featuring the Home Depot Pro Play
Workshop. Since Ryan is so young, an
adult still needs to direct the show from
behind the camera.
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Kids and Toys
Influencer #6
ToyMonster
222 M
90-Day Engagement
Some franchises and characters are
so popular amongst child viewers on
YouTube that content involving them
stands the test of…absurdity. On this
channel, we see that Spider-Man and
“Frozen” characters are just as entertaining
in the form of adult cosplayers as they are
in the form of toys. Like other channels on
this list, this one seeks to appeal to both
pre-verbal and international viewers by
passing over words in exchange for action,
pictures, sound effects, and otherwise
zany plots. The lesson here? Never
underestimate the value of a zany plotline
or the power of Spider-Man with today’s
kids.
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Influencer #7
Influencer #8
Videogyan 3D Rhymes –
Hailey’s Magical Playhouse
Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs
215 M
90-Day Engagement
We’ve found that songs constitute some
of the most popular content for kids on
YouTube. Not only does this channel tap
into both the familiarity of nursery rhymes
and the soothing qualities of a consistent
melody, it also hits on another massive
YouTube trend: Finger Family videos.
(Surprise Toys)
182 M
90-Day Engagement
Like Ryan’s channel, Hailey’s Magical
Playhouse brings the most authentic
toy experience. The home video feel
of this channel is very different from a
commercial, and Hailey’s excitement at
every new giant Surprise Egg is clearly the
real thing. By nature of its platform, Toys
and Funny Kids Surprise Eggs increases
its chances for engagement by reaching
out to audiences outside of English
speaking countries.
Kids and Toys
Influencer #9
PomPom
Influencer #10
Influencer #11
SevenSuperGirls FunToyzCollector
167 M
160 M
153 M
When a channel presents an intriguing
toy by showing how to make it at home,
it’s already brought viewers an extra step
closer to the product. PomPom focuses
on the squishiest and slimiest of toys, like
stress balls, water balloons, and Orbeez,
which are squishable balls that come in
different colors and absorb water. The
channel uses these toys, along with sweet
snacks like milk popsicles, to teach colors.
A sketch channel starring seven (well,
eight) teenage girls, SevenSuperGirls
reminds us that YouTube is indeed a
personality driven platform, and these
girls have personality. They toe the line
between ordinary and extraordinary—
extraordinary because they’re on your
screen, ordinary because they’re just like
you. Part of a larger brand on YouTube
(there are a number of “Seven...” channels
on the platform), the brand recognizes
that viewers are more likely to identify with
a personality on the channel if there are
multiple personalities to choose from.
Often using the “puppet” technique, this
channel puts on a show while organically
showing off the toys that star in it. Here,
we see the usual suspects, like Peppa
Pig, Frozen characters, and all the Disney
princesses. Though the narration is in
English, the channel’s about page is
written in six different languages, showing
the key understanding that YouTube is a
global platform.
90-Day Engagement
90-Day Engagement
90-Day Engagement
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Kids and Toys
Influencer #12
DisneyCarToys
Influencer #13
Influencer #14
Baby Big Mouth DisneyCARS
124 M
121 M
117 M
Taking more of a family channel route,
DisneyCarToys has two main narrators,
“Spidey” (short for Spiderman) and
Sandra, whose baby often stars in their
wacky, dialogue-scarce videos. The
couple explores a number of content types
popular on YouTube, from food challenges
(with a Baby Alive doll that can actually
“eat”) to Disney princess makeovers with
Sandra’s daughters. When an actual
mother chooses a certain toy to share with
her baby, the endorsement couldn’t be
more real.
What better way to teach kids words than
to hide them in Surprise Eggs? Baby
Big Mouth uses this type of unboxing
video to unveil words one letter at a time,
simultaneously showing off new Marvel
products, for example, while teaching kids
how to spell “boat.”
Sound effects, and some maneuvering
from the on-screen hands that are a staple
of the YouTube toys community, bring toys
to life on this channel. It also mesmerizes
viewers with the unbeatable combination
of gameplay and hauntingly soothing
nursery rhymes, like the ever-popular
Finger Family song.
90-Day Engagement
40
90-Day Engagement
90-Day Engagement
Kids and Toys
Influencer #15
Toy Trains 4u
Influencer #16
Toy Freaks
Influencer #17
DisneyToysFan
107 M
100 M
94 M
Surprise Eggs, counting, and beloved TV
and movie characters come together on
elaborate stop motion sets on Toy Trains
4u. This channel also plays with a type
of stop motion that has become its own
category on YouTube, brickfilm, which
is stop motion animation using Legos.
The accessibility of this video technique
inspires kids to do it themselves at home—
and to get more Lego sets.
Having mastered the art of the thumbnail/
title combo, Toy Freaks knows how to use
emotion to drive engagement. With titles
like “Spiders Attack Girl In Her Bed” (real
girl, fake spiders) and “A Frog In The Tub!!
Annabelle Freaks Out,” it can be hard not
to click, especially when the thumbnails
show a moment from said freak out. The
channel also stars two sisters, so their
interactions with each other, though often
stilted if they’re acting, feel relatable to
youngsters with siblings and friends.
Kids’ YouTube channels are no strangers
to mixing genres, so having Spiderman
appear as a character alongside the
Frozen cast only makes for a more
entertaining video. Dressing Frozen’s Anna
and Elsa up like mermaids and having
Spider-Man save the day is definitely not
Disney cannon, so these types of channels
helps kids dream outside the box of their
favorite franchises.
90-Day Engagement
90-Day Engagement
90-Day Engagement
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Kids and Toys
Influencer #18
Influencer #19
Influencer #20
SevenPerfectAngels Come Play With Me Toy Genie Surprise
83 M
90-Day Engagement
In the same family of channels as
SevenSuperGirls, SevenPerfectAngels
uses the same format, with different girls
posting videos each day of the week
on a consistent basis. By switching
video themes every week, like a week of
babysitting videos followed by a week
of challenge videos, the channel gets to
explore a variety of video styles to see
which work best while giving viewers a
reason to return—they’ll want to see how
babysitting nightmares play out with each
girl on the channel.
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80 M
79 M
Described as a “doll parody channel,”
Come Play With Me has toys act out
scenarios using other toy sets. For
example, Frozen’s Anna and Elsa dolls
take a bath in Orbeez and ride My Little
Pony toys. Kids seamlessly integrating
disparate toy sets makes for organic, interbrand collaborations, not something you’ll
usually see in a TV commercial.
Unboxing videos can get a lot of
their charm from the voiceover that
accompanies them. With the right narrator,
any toy can sound as exciting as, well, a
Kinder Surprise Egg. Toy Genie Surprises
has that narrator, and her genuine
sounding enthusiasm for the toys she
opens is contagious. She’s really opening
these toys for the very first time, and she
clearly loves them.
90-Day Engagement
90-Day Engagement
Spanish
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Spanish
Overview
The success of Spanish Language
Influencers lags behind the attention
this category receives in the broader
conversation around Influencers.
Viewers want media content to reflect
their unique life experiences, not just
their ethnic identity. This presents
a tremendous opportunity in the
Influencer space.
Spanish
Trends
Soccer
Language Trumps
Region
Whether it’s expressed
by FIFA gameplay, epic
football challenges, or filmed
attendance at matches,
Spanish speaking YouTubers
are obsessed with the sport
US natives know as soccer.
When it comes to fan
demographics, Influencers from
Spain tend to attract large Latin
American audiences.
Music
Music substitutes as the universal
language of YouTube, with
popularity growing in the area of
bilingual musicans .
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Gamer
Influencers create exciting content to
entertain, teach and interact with fans in the
gaming space.
Spanish
Influencer #1
JuegaGerman
With the second most subscribed-to channel
on YouTube (only to PewDiePie), Germán
Garmendia of HolySoyGerman, JuegaGerman,
AND HolySoyGerman2 (his newest channel) has
received two Diamond Play Buttons—awards
from YouTube signifying a Creator’s channel has
reached 10 million subscribers. Yes, Garmendia
has accrued over 10 million subscribers across
two channels, with his principal channel boasting
upwards of 28 million subscribers. What is it
that helped him become the biggest Spanish
speaking Influencer on the platform, as well as
one of the biggest across all languages (including
the platform’s most popular, English)?
280 M
90-Day Engagement
That video now has over 10 million views.
Since then, he hasn’t been afraid to be at once
personable and eccentric, sticking to relatable
topics. That plus his good looks makes him an
Influencer powerhouse, and Spanish speakers
needed one of those in 2011. They needed
their own vlogger to bear his soul in a way that
would also make them laugh, providing the big,
relatable personality they hadn’t seen before on
the platform—quickly becoming someone that his
audience could see being their best friend.
Having started on YouTube in 2011, the Chilean
Garmendia tacked on his gaming channel,
JuegaGerman, two years later, where he
encouraged viewers to come for the fun of
watching the gameplay and not just for him.
His content varies from comedy, music (he’s in a
band with his brother), and writing (his book, the
title of which plays off a common joke saying from
his YouTube channel, “#Chupaelperro,” came out
in April 2016).
His success originally came from his comedy
“sketch format” featuring two characters, both
played by himself.
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Spanish
Influencer #2
Fernanfloo
202 M
90-Day Engagement
Based in El Salvador and in his early 20s,
Luis Flores of Fernanfloo posts Let’s Plays,
animated videos (commissioned from an
animator), and vlogs on his channel. He
plays the same popular games that English
speaking Influencer gamers do, but his
style is just a bit more over the top, as is his
engagement ranking—it exceeds all but three
on our English language Top 100 lists. His
wild energy appears totally genuine, and he
engages with fans often, soliciting “crazy,
stupid” questions and supplying “crazy,
stupid answers.” His expressiveness makes
him stand out even in a genre characterized
by its high intensity emotion.
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Influencer #3
VEGETTA777
139 M
90-Day Engagement
Characterized by long videos (nearly half of
the gameplay videos exceed 30 minutes,
the shortest ones hovering around 10) and
plenty of Minecraft, Samuel de Luque of
VEGETTA777 also participates in gaming
equipment unboxings, which opens up an
avenue for brands to get involved with the
channel. Both of these aspects indicate a
savvy Influencer. He’s also kept up a longterm relationship with another Spanish
speaking Minecraft Influencer, WillyRex.
Though both de Luque and WillyRex come
from Spain and now live in Los Angeles,
their fan bases live largely in Latin America,
showing that culture, not birthplace or
location, is what shapes most of these
Influencers’ audience demographics.
Influencer #4
TheGrefg
98 M
90-Day Engagement
Nearly a cross between a gaming channel
and a vlogging channel because of
this Spanish Influencer’s propensity to
bring viewers along on his “random life
experiences,” like going to a water park,
David Martinez of TheGrefg definitely makes
his channel more about him than the games
that he plays. Being one of the younger
YouTube Creators in this category (at
19-years-old) puts him in that social sweet
spot, where engagement comes naturally from
fans who don’t need extra encouragement to
go online—they’re already there. With such
a personality driven channel, TheGrefg’s
product endorsements mean a lot, and he
posts links on his About page to the chair he
sits in when he’s gaming and his energy drink
of choice with a custom discount code.
Spanish
Influencer #5
ElrubiusOMG
88 M
90-Day Engagement
Though ElrubiusOMG’s content now runs
focuses on gaming, Influencer Rubén
Gundersen initially gained a lot of popularity
from his significant Chatroulette phase circa
2011, in which he’d prank other users on the
site. His content has evolved with the trends
of YouTube, most recently, his travel vlogs,
in which he goes to YouTube events, soccer
games, and encounters real life fans on the
street.
Influencer #6
Influencer #7
Mejores Juguetes J Balvin
76 M
90-Day Engagement
An animated witch avatar serves as a central
personality on this kids’ and toys channel,
showing that there are effective alternatives
to having a live action host. The witch also
appears in an animated series on Mejores
Juguetes, though her series primarily lives on
its dedicated channel called “La Brujita Tatty –
dibujos animados.” In fact, Mejores Juguetes
populates its homepage with lots of content
from other Spanish language kids channels on
YouTube, including a whole category of apps
and gameplay videos. The focus on products
here is strong, and those products tend to be
very similar to those on English language kids’
toys channels, heavily featuring properties like
Peppa Pig, Frozen, and Kinder Surprise Eggs.
74 M
90-Day Engagement
A Colombian born reggaeton singer, J Balvin
has moved back and forth between his
home country and the US to further his music
career, a process that has included learning
English. The bilingual aspect of the channel
is unique one, as YouTube Creators usually
try to hone in on as niche of an audience as
possible when it comes to identity defining
factors like language. In the music category,
though, language matters less—or, in a
different light, music substitutes as the
universal language of YouTube, which applies
on J Balvin’s song-heavy channel.
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Spanish
Influencer #8
Werevertumorro
Influencer #9
Enchufe.tv
Influencer #10
Sebastián Villalobos
70 M
63 M
61 M
Professional soccer player in Mexico’s third
division, Gabriel Montiel Gutiérrez, started his
YouTube channel around the same time he
started playing professional soccer, in 2007
at age 16. His content showcases soccer
games from the stands but mostly posts like
your standard vlogger. As an Influencer,
Gutiérrez stands out by having been the first
roastee on the comedic Latin web series “Mitú
Roast,” an effort put forth by the Mitú network,
an MCN dedicated to young, Latin talent and
an indicator that this category is growing ever
larger.
A sketch comedy Influencer from Ecuador,
Enchufe.tv features a whole cast of actors and
a three-video-per-week release schedule—
one promo for the channels next sketch,
the sketch, and a “microYAPA,” which is a
really short sketch (under 20 seconds). The
production quality is high, which is likely
because the channel was founded by a
production team, Touché Films, in 2011.
Some its earliest sketches achieved viral
video status, like “Compra Condones” (now
at over 30 million views) and “ME GUSTA”
(which racked up 1.5 million views in the first
couple of days after its release and is now at
over 19 million). The Influencer has become
so popular is has earned its own series on
Ecudaorian network Ecuavisa.
This Influencer’s young age and good looks
put him in the category of social media stars
like Nash Grier, Caspar Lee, and Chris Collins.
He’s leveraged social platforms to build his own
franchise across non-digital media, with a book
called “YouTuber School” (titled in English) and
a persona so well known that he’s appeared, as
himself, in the Spanish language high school TV
series, “Soy Luna.”
90-Day Engagement
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90-Day Engagement
90-Day Engagement
Spanish
Influencer #11
Influencer #12
Influencer #13
DjMaRiiO
MALUMA
Folagor03
51 M
90-Day Engagement
DjMaRiiO is the go-to Spanish speaking
soccer commentator on digital. He plays into
this fandom for his YouTube engagement
benefit, with his main channel dedicated to
the sport (but really mostly its virtual version,
FIFA). The way he plays the game and talks
about real life players portrays true expert
status, giving him an easy in with Spanish
speaking viewers who share his passion.
Meanwhile, on his secondary channel, Mario
switches off between Grand Theft Auto and
Call of Duty gameplay, sticking with his expert
status persona.
49 M
90-Day Engagement
Maluma, a Columbia singer and songwriter,
is a testament to the size of the young, latin
presence on YT.
49 M
90-Day Engagement
Folagor03’s Yoel Ramírez Pulido often uses
the common English gamer term “fail” as
a play on words with his own YouTube
handle (“Failagor”) when he, well, fails at
gaming. Content includes commentary on the
Pokémon TV series and the franchise’s games
and cards.
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Spanish
Influencer #14
Los Juguetes de Titi
43 M
90-Day Engagement
A trend you won’t see across the most popular
English speaking kids’ and toys channels, Los
Juguetes de Titi features multiple “puppet” style
videos starring Barbies and Disney princesses…
who are pregnant. Either married to their
respective princes or to Spider-Man, in the case
of Frozen’s Elsa (since YouTube audiences seem
to love seeing the two of them together), these
dolls almost act out the whole family channel
trend on YouTube, in which families start filming
their lives together from the day a new child
enters them. Baby Alive dolls, baby dolls that
“really” pee and eat, also feature heavily on
this channel, revealing a trend amongst young,
female audiences who speak Spanish. They
are interested in content about growing up and
having families of their own. With such a strong
focus on family in many latin American cultures –
these videos speak to that focus in a way that is
different than traditional English YouTubers.
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Influencer #15
Los Polinesios
43 M
90-Day Engagement
A channel operated by three siblings, Lesslie, Rafa,
and Karen, Los Polinesios nearly has their own multichannel network, with separate channels for joke/prank
videos, challenges, tutorials, and video games, not to
mention Lesslie Polinesia’s individual channel. You can
see the siblings getting more polished as the years
go on, nearly adopting the wide-eyed, enthusiastic
personas of hosts in children’s TV shows. If you look
at videos from earlier in their careers, they’re not
wearing makeup and their speech is more casual.
These days, they’re made up and, if not more scripted,
at least more organized in their dialogue. Essentially,
the content on YouTube is evolving and growing more
sophisticated as its biggest personalities get older and
more experienced. The siblings are basically treating
their operation like a family business, multiplying their
social influence across channels as much as possible.
When one sibling, Karen, dropped out of their weekly
challenge videos recently, they substituted a rotating
cast of other Spanish-speaking Influencers to keep up
the momentum, treating their series like producers of a
TV series would by keeping it regular and not missing
a beat when it comes to replacing a parting cast
member with a new one.
Influencer #16
Juanpa Zurita
40 M
90-Day Engagement
A Mexican based Influencer with excess energy
and big, blue eyes, Juanpa Zurita falls into the
young, attractive male influencer category.
Like many others in that category, Zurita got
his start on six-second video app Vine. The
community this app fosters is so strong that it’s
led to ongoing relationships and collaborations
with both an American and a French Vine
star, Logan Paul and Jerome Jarre, the latter
having actually discovered Zurita because
he made Vines in both his native Spanish
and English, which Jarre could understand,
showing just how vast the opportunities are for
bilingual Spanish/English speaking influencers.
Jarre invited Zurita and some other Mexican
influencers to visit the US to collaborate with
him on six-second videos, truly hitting home
the importance of collaborating amongst
influencers, no matter where they may be
(language trumps region, and Zurita speaks
English). With Paul, Zurita is appearing in a
feature film, “Airplane Mode,” in which he plays
Paul’s foreign exchange “brother.”
Spanish
Influencer #17
Influencer #18
Influencer #19
NickyJamTV
Mario Bautista
Gona89
40 M
90-Day Engagement
Musician Nick Caminero, better known as Nicky
Jam, posts both professional music videos
and homemade vlogs (some made on his
smartphone).
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, NickyJam’s
mother is Puerto Rican. They moved there when
he was 10, and he identifies with that part of his
culture.
His YouTube involvement extends to the release
his 2015 music video for “Forgiveness” at the
YouTube Space New York. As always, if you show
the platform love, it will love you back. To grow his
English speaking fan base.
He has further promoted his music career with his
YouTube vlogs titled “ConNickyHastaElAmanecer”
(WithNickyUntilDawn), with goes hand in hand
with his song whose video was premiering around
the same time, called “Hasta El Amanecer.”
Fun Fact: The song “Forgiveness” is, after all, an
English version of his hit song, “El Perdon.”
38 M
90-Day Engagement
A young heartthrob type from Mexico City,
Mario Bautista calls himself a “singer-songwriter
and influencer,” which is an apt description. A
mix of professional music videos and made-athome vlogs, his professional music videos are
a hybrid of vlog-like elements (including the
camera work, direct-to-viewer intros, and sets).
His songs have been at the top of the charts
in digital stores, and he’s won MTV awards for
both his music and his social presence.
Frequent collaborator with other Spanish
speaking Influencers and playing games, like
“cultural trivia.”
37 M
90-Day Engagement
This gaming channel from Spanish
Influencer Gonzalo, aka Gona89, shows
his knack for branding. His thumbnails
clearly indicate the gameplay series
they represent, many of which stem from
different aspects of Minecraft. In one
series called “Lucky Blocks,” he plays with
three other Spanish-speaking gamers on
the platform to the point where they appear
as regularly recurring characters on his
channel. He features their channel names
in his video titles, driving traffic back
and forth between their channels (they all
have between 800,000 and over 2 million
subscribers each, making this a smart
approach). In addition, he links to them in
his descriptions. Gona 89 nurtured his own
tightknit gaming community on YouTube.
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Spanish
Influencer #20
ExpCaseros
36 M
90-Day Engagement
ExpCaseros (which translates to “home
experiments”) embraces gaming trends
like Minecraft, general YouTube trends like
pranks, and kids’ content trends like make-ityourself slime.
Appealing to families who watch YouTube
together, the Male-Female duo explain
experiments and want viewers to give it a try.
They are sure to say that younger viewers
should not to try these experiments at home
without adult supervision.
They appeal specifically to audiences in their
native country of Spain with videos in which
they try out candies from other countries, like
Mexico and the US, showing a more regionally
based identity than the Spain-based YouTube
Creators who seek to appeal to the identities
of a wider ranging Spanish language
audience.
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Best All-Around
53
Best
All-Around
Overview
With a decidedly young audience
base, it’s no wonder that these
digital media personalities are the
best all around—the Bo Jacksons,
if you will, of social media. Their
audiences practically live on the
various platforms where these digital
influencers post, and the posting
supply meets the keen demand.
These creators further understand
that each platform serves a
unique purpose when it comes
to engaging fans. While Twitter
keeps influencers fresh in their
fans’ minds with frequent but brief
check-ins, Facebook offers that
crucial glimpse into their personal
lives, YouTube and Vine provide
the entertainment that makes these
stars worth watching, Instagram
offers an arsenal for glam shots, and
Tumblr showcases their quirky sides.
Many of these influencers have even
made the crossover into “traditional”
entertainment.
Together, all of these platforms
lead to a perfectly well rounded
image for the digital star—they’re
54
glamorous and talented but remain
within reach. They could be your
best friend or your girlfriend/
boyfriend. This becomes even more
believable when fans see how closeknit the community of top social
influencers is. They appear in each
other’s YouTube videos, Vines, and
Facebook news feeds—the “popular”
group of friends that every kid wants
to join and now can, thanks to the
interactive nature of social platforms
and the modern celebrity.
Methodology for
Cross-Platform
ZEFR’s proprietary Cross-Platform
Engagement Score ranks influencers
based on their relative level of
influence on social platforms where
they are active plus the relative
importance of each platform.
(For example, Instagram drives
roughly 3x more total engagement on
influencer channels than Facebook,
and our formula weighs each platform
accordingly.)
Best All-Around
Trends
Digital to Traditional
Collabs
These Influencers collaborate with each
other frequently and across multiple social
platforms, a route to generating increased
fan engagement and building up a larger fan
base through shared audiences.
With TV appearances, song releases, movie
cameos, Influencers who found their success
on digital are continually being pulled into
traditional entertainment.
Photo Shoots
The next level selfie.
Family Life
Showing off spouses, partners, siblings, and
children brings fans closer to their personal
lives.
Star Siblings
It truly is a family affair here in the top ranks
of digital stardom, where siblings tend to rise
to fame either with one another or with the
help of their more famous brother
and/or sister.
Solidarity
This social clan stands together and makes
sure to show support for their own across
social platforms.
The YouTube Boy Band
Whether they’re a musical band or band is
just synonymous for “group,” it tends to be
the case that five attractive young men garner
more engagement across social media than
one.
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Best-All-Around
Influencer #1 and Featured Channel
Cameron Dallas
Having gotten his start on six-second video
app Vine, Cameron Dallas has grown into
a big enough star that Vine now serves as
a promotional platform for his other social
accounts and off-digital work, including music
and movies. However, that Vine foundation
continues to serve him well, as sects of the
top Viners make up tight-knit communities with
whom Dallas continues to collaborate. Being
part of a digital influencer family helps keep
Dallas relevant, as if he’s solidified his spot in
the “popular group” in high school.
99.68
Enagement Score
56
Not only is Dallas in with the other most
popular digital influencers of his age group,
he’s also made it in with the big MultiChannel Networks (MCNs) that manage vast
communities of creators on YouTube. Both
of his big movies were produced by MCNs,
“Expelled” by AwesomenessTV and “The
Outfield” by Fullscreen. Having navigated
both the social and business landscape of
social media, Dallas has crossed over into the
traditional media realm with an appearance
on NBC TV show “The Odyssey” and a 2015
rap single, “She Bad.” Like a true digital star,
Dallas hasn’t turned his back on his online
fans, continuing to post regularly on all of his
social accounts.
Best-All-Around
Influencer #2
Dan Howell
Influencer #3
Roman Atwood
Influencer #4
Caspar Lee
99.43
99.39
99.31
With a long history of collaborating with
other early YouTube adopters, Dan Howell
established himself as an entertainment
personality alongside fellow Influencer Phil
Lester (see DanAndPhilGAMES below).
This partnership resulted in a BBC Radio
1 show that relied on lots of audience
interaction—a specialty for those adept at
navigating social platforms. Overall, Howell
is truly a jack-of-all-trades when it comes
to social media, exploring a wide variety of
content across all platforms and displaying
a deep understanding of which content
goes best where.
Roman Atwood has got all of his bases
covered, with an active presence on
Twitter, and a steady posting schedule
on Facebook and Instagram. He has
two popular YouTube channels (one for
pranks, one for vlogs), as well as an online
store that sells merchandise created
around his YouTube brand, Smile More
(offering everything from baby onesies to
balloons).
Having collaborated with numerous other
Influencers, both on this list and off,
Caspar Lee has made the crossover into
“traditional” entertainment with a cameo in
the UK version of “The SpongeBob Movie:
Sponge Out of Water” and explored the
world of MCN productions by starring in
StyleHaul series, “The Crew.” His personal
life appears intertwined with his online
career, as apparently genuine friendships
with other digital stars guide many of his
videos and social posts.
Engagement Score
Engagement Score
Engagement Score
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Best-All-Around
Influencer #5
DanAndPhilGAMES
99.30
Engagement Score
A joint channel between the
aforementioned Dan Howell and Phil
Lester, who often work as a digital media
duo, DanAndPhilGAMES hinges on the
wildly popular YouTube trend of Let’s Plays
(see Gaming section for more). Bringing
this important trend into their already
expansive on- and offline repertoire makes
this duo unstoppable in the webscape.
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Influencer #6
Ethan Dolan
99.05
Engagement Score
Together with his identical twin brother
Grayson, they have the hot- twins-look
going for them, and their female fan base
clearly appreciates it.
Influencer #7
Markiplier
99.03
Engagement Score
Mark Fischbach, aka Markiplier, standouts
from the rest of the gaming crowd in how he
uses his following to give back. By hosting
charity gameplay livestreams, Markiplier and
his fans have raised hundreds of thousands
of dollars for various organizations, giving him
a decidedly altruistic persona. The charities
he’s supported include the Depression and
Bipolar Support Alliance (for which he raised
over $81,000, compared to his $54,000 goal)
and the Cancer Research Institute, among
others. He even started his own charitable
foundation, Markiplier’s Heroes Charity
Foundation, which has donated over $556,000
to various charities. As a full-time YouTube
Creator who lives alongside his Creator peers
in Los Angeles, the 26-year-old has served as
the voice and face of Let’s Players on multiple
occasions, like on his “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
appearance and as a host of the South By
Southwest Gaming Awards.
Best-All-Around
Influencer #8
Hayes Grier
99.01
Engagement Score
Like Ethan Dolan, Hayes Grier’s
Instagram—his most followed account—is
full of selfies he’s taken with his brother
while his Vine account—his second most
followed—is full of his live performances
(he also sings) and brand partnerships.
Another young heartthrob, Hayes Grier
is the younger brother of Vine star Nash
Grier.
Influencer #9
Joe Sugg
98.94
Engagement Score
With a famous YouTuber sister (Zoella),
Joe Sugg has easily made his way into
the young, online star family with a focus
on YouTube, where he has over 6 million
subscribers. He does prank, day-in-thelife, and gameplay videos, but his most
popular uploads tend to also feature his
sister.
Influencer #10
Troye Sivan
98.94
Engagement Score
Of all the top influencers, Troye Sivan stands
out as someone who used digital platforms to
boost a more traditional leaning career path.
He’s an accomplished musician, his first EP
having come out in 2008 when he was just
12 years old—one year after he started using
YouTube to share his music. He signed with
major label EMI Australia five years later, after
which he released the EP TRXYE. He had
garnered enough fame on YouTube at this
point, first for his singing, then for his vlogs,
for his album to make it to number one on
iTunes stores in multiple countries. He went on
his own international music tour, Troye Sivan
Live, in 2015, but he also stays committed to
being a vlogger who’s openly gay and wants
fans to get to know him. Here’s an example of
an entertainer who explores the best of both
old and new media worlds to make it work.
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Best-All-Around
Influencer #11
Connor Franta
Influencer #12
PewDiePie
Influencer #13
Chris Collins
98.90
98.95
98.78
After establishing a solo channel on
YouTube, Connor Franta joined the sixboy collaborative channel Our2ndLife,
from which he eventually departed to
again carve out his own individual niche
across social platforms. Franta’s ensured
that his journey as public persona stayed
personal by coming out as gay to his
fans through a YouTube video. His Twitter
is also littered with fan adoration, from
pictures of fans wearing his merch and
posing with him. He also makes clear his
strong relationships with other openly
LGBT Influencers, like Troye Sivan and
Tyler Oakley (both of whom also made this
list), together establishing themselves as a
community for the many LGBT audiences
who flock to YouTube to find entertainment
made by and for their demographic.
Armed with the biggest subscriber count
on YouTube, PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg),
featured as our #1 Influencer in the general
Gaming category keeps his massive
audience engaged with his trademark
content style cross-platform. with himself
is genuinely entertaining, and reading
it reminds even the most skeptical of
users that PewDiePie actually earned his
unprecedented fame.
Cover songs have been big enough
on YouTube to launch some singer/
songwriters’ careers, and Chris Collins
falls into that niche. Though he’s still just
releasing covers on the video platform,
the search traffic he’s harnessed from
doing so has propelled him to celebrity
heartthrob status. It helps that his face
is as pretty as his voice (just check his
Instagram). Also, Collins’s channel shows
that time and effort pay off. He started
out on YouTube in 2010, during the emo
hair phase (lots of boys on the platform
with hair brushed sideways low across
their foreheads) with single camera cover
music videos, and now his cover song
videos have achieved a certain level of
professionalism—he’s learned the platform
and his craft, and it’s paid off.
Engagement Score
60
Engagement Score
Engagement Score
Best-All-Around
Influencer #14
Nash Grier
Influencer #15
Alfie Deyes
Influencer #16
Kidrauhl
98.75
98.74
98.74
Having achieved his influencer status on
Vine, Grier has mastered the art of comedy
in six seconds. He even has a second Vine
channel, which is now inactive because
he posts the content that would have gone
there on Snapchat (his less serious short
video work—it appears less planned out
than the videos on his main Vine channel).
Grier’s success has led to appearances
on talk shows like “The View” and “Good
Morning America.” Mainstream media has
to be intrigued at the status this Influencer
has achieved through making six-second
videos. He also starred in a Fullscreen
produced movie, “The Outfield,” alongside
Cameron Dallas in 2015.
If anyone is skilled at turning a single
channel into an entire franchise, it’s Alfie
Deyes. The British YouTuber currently
has three YouTube channels and two
books that all clearly fall under the same
“Pointless” brand. The brand itself isn’t
pointless, his channels are just called
PointlessBlog, PointlessBlogVlogs, and
PointlessVlog Games, while his books are
titled The Pointless Book and The Pointless
Book 2. With solid branding practices and
a girlfriend who’s also deeply entrenched
in the YouTube community (Zoella aka Zoe
Sugg, Joe Sugg’s sister), he’s carved out a
solid niche for himself in the community.
Justin Bieber’s YouTube channel, Kidrauhl,
launched his career when he was discovered
by a former record company exec searching
for a music video on YouTube and landed on
Bieber’s cover instead of the original song. Even
after all of his success, Bieber still provides
fans with updates on the video platform, staying
loyal to the place where he came into fame.
Fans even celebrated “Kidrauhl’s” eight-year
anniversary on YouTube with the hashtag
“#8YearsofKidrauhl” in January 2015. He still
posts his less professional videos there, many
resembling travel vlogs but with his music in
the background, while his JustinBieberVevo
channel is dedicated to his polished tracks and
music videos.
Engagement Score
Engagement Score
Engagement Score
Why Kidrauhl? With some internet digging, you’ll
find that it’s because of his father, who went by
LordRauhl based on a character in the Sword of
Truth fantasy book series by Terry Goodkind.
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Best-All-Around
Influencer #17
Influencer #18
Influencer #19
Casey Neistat
5 Seconds of Summer
Johnny Orlando
98.52
98.51
98.50
More popular musicians who started out
on YouTube covering other artists’ songs,
the Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer
(aka 5SOS) has a similar story to Bieber’s.
Initially, they used one band member’s
(Luke Hemmings) YouTube channel to post
covers of songs by the likes of Blink-182
and, funny enough, Justin Bieber in 2011.
A label actually sought them out based on
these videos’ popularity, so they signed with
Sony ATV Music Publishing, went on tour with
One Direction in 2013, and the rest is history.
While they mostly use YouTube to showcase
new music videos, they make sure their other
social platforms are dedicated to letting
fans into their lives. Fans will find them using
vegemite as a drum set on Twitter, or eating
ice cream cones together on Instagram.
Setting himself up to be the next Justin
Bieber, Johnny Orlando is only thirteen
and covering the former’s songs in
professionally polished videos on
YouTube. Because of his age, he scoops
up all of the youngest fans
on social who might be looking for a
more “realistic” crush in the otherwise
largely 16-and-up pool of famous digital
influencers.The youngest on our Best All
Around list, Orlando posted his first video
to YouTube—a Bieber cover—in 2012,
when he was just 8 years old. Though he
clearly had the help of an adult back then
(there’s an adult arm playing guitar in the
frame while he sings), he now has “official”
music videos and plays to crowds of preand young teen fans.
Casey Neistat is the MacGyver of
YouTube, captivating his audience through
daily endeavors on his electric skateboard
around NYC and global expeditions. Drone
in one hand and vlogging camera in the
other, Casey always gets the best shot
even if it involves a paper clip and duct
tape. He regularly features his family in his
videos and also launched is own social
app called Beme.
Engagement Score
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Engagement Score
Engagement Score
Best-All-Around
Influencer #20
Tyler Oakley
98.46
Engagement Score
Tyler Oakley started his career in 2007,
when he was just a freshman at Michigan
State looking to make fun videos in which
he could also tell his friends and family
about college. Since his videos were
public, others started watching, and his
popularity snowballed. Perhaps because
he got his start on the platform being his
true self, he’s dedicated to staying that
way, and it shows in his “this is who I am,
deal with it” attitude. His YouTube fame
has resulted in an international tour that
was basically a live stage performance
of his YouTube content, and he gained
enough traction to host the Vanity Fair
Oscar Party red carpet 2016. Next up,
he’s got a project with Ellen DeGeneres to
develop content for the web and possibly
TV as part of the Ellen Digital Network
launch.
Note: Our list does not include VEVO
channels in order to focus on Influencer
generated content.
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