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  • Writer's pictureThe Outloud Group


Updated: Oct 6, 2022

Black+ Creator Representation

Jan - Jun 2020

You are currently reading the 1H of 2020 version of this study, to read our updated version for 2H of 2020, please click here.

If nothing else, 2020 has reminded us that we need to shine a light on the racial inequities in America and the world at large. We need to learn. We need to listen. And we need to look for data to understand where challenges exist and how we can work together to solve those challenges.

Social media creators, or influencers, are broadly recognized as cultural leaders. As a society, we look to these trusted advisors that we choose to follow for their voices across every aspect of our lives: science, fashion, beauty, technology, travel, education, and beyond.

The influencer marketing industry is a nearly $10B industry in 2020¹ and growing rapidly -- with forecasts projecting that the industry will grow to $15B by 2022². There’s no doubt that the influencer marketing industry is large and impactful.

Since Google’s reveal of their first annual Diversity Report in 2014, we have seen more and more companies, particularly in the tech sector, release data on aspects of diversity. This is progress -- and brands like Google deserve credit for having the growth of Black+ communities outpace overall company growth.

The time is now to shine a light on how the influencer marketing industry is doing when it comes to incorporating Black+ creators in brand partnerships. At The Outloud Group, we are excited to release the first of its kind report on how the influencer marketing industry is doing when it comes to partnering with Black+ creators.

Black Americans make up 13.4% of the American population³, but were only included in 6.9% of brand partnerships in Q1 & Q2 of 2020. The Outloud Group was marginally better than the industry, including Black+ creators in 7.2% of brand partnerships.

Percent of Q1 & Q2 2020 Brand Partnerships with Black+ Creators. Influencer Marketing Diversity Report -- Q1 + Q2 2020 Black Creators, by The Outloud Group

It’s clear that the influencer marketing industry is not where it needs to be when it comes to including Black creators in their influencer campaigns. Of the 20 brands running the largest YouTube influencer campaigns, only 6.9% of creators were Black+. In other words, Black+ creators are underrepresented in brand deals by nearly 50% compared to the US population as a whole.

At The Outloud Group, we recognize that we have work to do ourselves. In the first half of 2020, Black+ creators made up 7.2% of our brand partnerships. While The Outloud Group included 4% more Black+ creators⁷ than the industry as a whole, we simply need to do better when it comes to including Black+ creators in influencer campaigns, and it’s incredibly hard to address this challenge without being prepared to discuss it openly with data and facts.

As an industry that represents American and international culture as a whole, it’s important that the creators we partner with reflect the population as a whole. We have work to do to get there.

We will continue to publish this data on a semi-annual basis with the belief that transparency and accountability -- for The Outloud Group -- and for the influencer marketing industry as a whole -- is a critical part of driving meaningful change.



The Outloud Group conducted this analysis to benchmark Black+ creator representation in the Influencer Marketing industry for the first half of 2020 using two sets of data The Outloud Group used to conduct this analysis are:

-- The Outloud Group’s proprietary data⁴

-- Tubular Lab’s Dealmaker data⁵

The Outloud Group’s data consisted of 1,112 unique sponsored⁶ YouTube videos while Tubular Lab’s Dealmaker data consisted of 10,917 unique sponsored YouTube videos from the top 20 most active brands in YouTube influencer marketing, all of which were published between January 1st, 2020 and June 30th, 2020. The 12,029 total videos used in this study were hand reviewed with a simple binary tag, which marked if the YouTube channel that published each video featured a Black+ creator.



We are a full-service influencer marketing agency that creates & executes strategic campaigns to deliver measurable results. We combine art & science to authentically tell your brand’s story at scale.

While we live & breathe new media, our business is founded on old-fashioned relationships.

Influencer marketing.

Done right.




Visit The Outloud Group's Youtube Channel for our video series, "Influencer Insight"and "Thinking Outloud" where we share industry knowledge, discuss influencer marketing trends and host influencers we work with. Also, follow and chat with us through Twitter , Instagram and LinkedIn!

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