YouTube vloggers more popular than ever, but not influencers – study

6 Feb 2015

Zoe 'Zoella' Sugg at the 2014 VidCon. Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Children and teenagers today are more likely to know YouTube vloggers than most film celebrities, but a new survey suggests their influence on spending habits isn’t so grand.

Names such as Zoella and PewDiePie might not seem quite so familiar to those born in the 20th century, but for those keeping track of the booming vlogging industry, PewDiePie’s milestone last July of 351m viewers in one month has made marketing companies stand up and take notice of vloggers’ sway over the younger generation.

Likewise, Zoella, who recently broke the record for the fastest-selling debut book, boasts more than 7m subscribers and has companies falling over themselves to get their fashion products showcased on her vlog, such is her considered sway over fashion-mad, cash-rich teenagers.

However, according to new research from GlobalWebIndex, views may not necessarily translate into transactions as much as these companies would like.

From their findings, the researchers even dismiss the idea that vlog viewers are all teenagers. They found that while 47pc of people aged 16-24 said they had watched a vlog in the previous month, this figure increased to 50pc for people aged 25-34.

And yet, the researchers also found that despite these percentages, only 12pc of survey respondents who watch vlogs said they were influenced by a vlogger’s suggestion.

The role of sponsorship among the YouTube producer community remains contentious, with many calling for transparency in making viewers aware vloggers are being paid to promote a product.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic