A recent WSJ report says YouTube is in a scramble to keep its stars, and is handing out bonuses to stars like Michelle Phan whom it depends on for viewers. The company itself is mum on the bonuses, but others say Facebook’s increasing interest in video and startups like Vessel have been attempting to lure away some of YouTube’s most popular producers. So far, YouTube has been an egalitarian platform in terms of compensation; all producers are paid 55% of ad revenue. Sources say it might be forced to change that.

But YouTube depends on brand participation as much as it does on stars. Ninety-four percent of brands in L2’s Intelligence Report: Social Platforms have an active YouTube channel, and have collectively registered 10 billion views and 18 million subscribers on the platform. Brand participation and ads on the platform are expected to grow, since 75% of users visit a marketers site after watching a video ad and 12% purchase the featured product.

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In the Beauty category, brands are partnering with vloggers as their success crowds out brand productions. (Influential vloggers account for 71% of Beauty search results on YouTube.) For example, Maybelline enlisted 13 top Beauty vloggers to post tutorials about the Nudes Palette eyeshadow line. And Cover Girl cross-posted videos of YouTube star MissGlamorazzi, which was recently named ambassador for the brands. Overall, 42% of Beauty brands feature vlogger content on their YouTube channels and those vloggers are unlikely to leave behind the platforms brand dollars and views.



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