Who's who in the growing world of You Tube beauty tutorials
Over the last year, beauty on YouTube has grown by over 50 per cent - not just in terms of how many videos are being uploaded, but also how many we're watching.
Globally, we have now viewed 45.3 billion beauty tutorials, and it's a blooming market.
The figures have been revealed as part of Pixability's Beauty on YouTube 2015 report, which is an exercise into how brands can best tap into beauty on the video channel, and also offers an interesting insight into our emerging video beauty habits - and not just because the blogging elite are slowly being overturned.
Of the 123,164,115 beauty subscribers on YouTube, Pixability revealed that watchers don't just want to click onto blogging bait now, they actually want to watch what the brands have to offer too. Yes, it seems that brands have finally nailed the YouTube magic formula.
Keen to catch up with bloggers - which are cited as far more powerful in engaging subscribers (in 2014, bloggers created 97 per cent of YouTube videos) - brands successfully boosted their content (35 per cent faster than the industry standard) and efforts to drive monthly views, which are now up by as much as 78 per cent.
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Of the top 25 most viewed beauty videos published between January and May of this year, 10 were produced by brands. Overall, brand-owned content has now reached 2.1 billion views. As global social community manager for Bobbi Brown cosmetics Andrea Barton explains, "the beauty space on YouTube is massive and constantly evolving, and having a solid understanding of our audience and the influential beauty creator community is critical for our digital strategy." No wonder - YouTube beauty has earned 596,812,159 likes, has been shared on Facebook 169,068,125 times and tweeted out 23,938,920 times already.
She adds: "The data and insights contained in Pixability's beauty study have become a key resource to help us plan and optimise our online video campaigns, and engage with current and potential customers on YouTube." So what are the other insights? Pixability, essentially a video ad buying and marketing technology company, analysed the YouTube practices of 215 brands and 182,621 bloggers, and then the 1.78 million videos between them, and this is what they found.
The 'who's who' of bloggers is shifting - perhaps, says Pixability, thanks to the fact that the A-listers amongst them are too busy endorsing brands to upload videos from the comfort of their blogging bedrooms. Michelle Phan for example, 2014's golden child (whose Poker Face and Bad Romance tutorials, the latter with 50 million views, are the first and second top performing beauty videos of all time), has seen her channel decline from 25.5 million views a month to 15 million views, which is no surprise now she has a new L'Oréal-backed beauty brand, Em Michelle Phan, to promote.
While Phan still boasts more views to date than any fellow blogger, the direct result has been that she has just been pipped to poll position in the subscriber's stakes, for the first time, by Bethany Mota, aka 'macbarbie07', who can count 8.7 million on her channel. Zoella is now just behind Mota in second position.
Newcomers are snapping at their beauty heels however. In the subscriber growth stakes it's those bloggers able to upload content frequently who are winning; MyLifeAsEva has increased her subscriber base by 1,982 per cent in the last year, while maybabytumbler has boosted hers by 960 per cent.
The message is that the established beauty bloggers shouldn't rest on their laurels - or their brand contracts. Pixability is labelling this next generation of bloggers as the 'rising stars of YouTube', and they are to be watched.
So, the YouTube stars may be realigning, but we can't deny that the heavyweights, including Zoella, Phan and Mota, still continue their celebrity status amongst teens. In July 2014 Variety reported that YouTube stars scored higher than traditional celebrities when it came to shaping spending habits - in fact, five of the 10 most influential stars among American teens between 13 and 18 years old were YouTube stars. And don't the brands just know it; US blogger Bethany Mota already has contracts with fashion retailers JC Penney, Forever 21 and Aeropostale, while she also has a White House Correspondents' Association dinner under her belt.
Across the pond, Brit blogger Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, smashed sales records for her debut book, Girl Online, in 2014, can boast her own eponymous beauty line sold in Superdrug, has a waxworks in the making at Madame Tussauds, and is in the running for the presenting The X Factor if Simon Cowell gets his way. But it's a vicious cycle, for the pattern that seems to be occurring is that the more subscribers a blogger has, the more likely they are to win big contracts, but this ultimately results in fewer videos and falling subscriber numbers...
What about the videos we're watching then? From our mobile devices mostly - used by 55 per cent of beauty viewers - we're clicking onto make-up tutorials frequently, followed by hair, nails, skincare and perfume, as illustrated in the pie chart below. And word on the YouTube platform is that it's the step-by-step tutorials which are dominating. Strangely, body make-up tutorials are catching on however, counting for seven per cent of YouTube's most viewed videos. Both the men's and the mature beauty tutorial market are also on the rise.
Pixability concluded that while beauty on YouTube is growing, so is its scope and diversity. The content is shifting, and more importantly so are the chief creators - the next generation of bloggers could be about to overthrow the beauty queens, while the big brands look to take on a bigger slice of the beauty pie. Analysts say demand for beauty on YouTube still outstrips supply, and so the race is on to see who serves us best.