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With digital advertising spend expected to reach $93 billion in 2018, influencer marketing has entered the market to gradually account for a larger slice of the advertising pie. By 2020, influencer marketing ad spend is projected to reach $5-10 billion. Along with the proliferation of influencer marketing budgets, influencers themselves are defining new niches that enable brands to be more selective about who they partner with and target in each campaign.
At over 79 million total subscribers, 20 of the top black YouTubers attract roughly 35 million more than the total U.S. black population. According to Nielsen research, black consumers make up over 50% of overall spending and contribute $1.2 trillion in buying power, despite making up just 14% of the total U.S. population. To help marketers reach this growing consumer segment and remain culturally relevant, we have put together a list of 20 influential black YouTubers.
Most recently in the headlines for his amateur boxing match with fellow YouTuber, Logan Paul, Olajide William “JJ” Olatunji — KSI to his fans — is a British gamer, rapper, and actor. Creating commentary, sketch, music, and other videos, KSI’s videos have exceeded 4 billion views.
Known by many as ComedyShortsGamer, Deji Olatunji — now Deji on social media — is the younger brother of KSI. Producing vlog, music, comedy, prank, and other videos, Deji boasts more than 3.4 billion total video views.
Marques Brownlee, also known as MKBHD, reviews tech-centric products for his 6.9 million followers. From phones, to watches, to camera robots, to automobiles, Brownlee offers first impressions of new models, as well as in-depth analyses of products.
Matt Smith is an American YouuTube personality who took to YouTube in 2011 to bring laughter to his growing audience through frequent vlogs. Through humorous sketches, pranks, challenges, and other funny compilation videos, Smith has grown his channel to reach nearly 965 million total video views.
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GloZell Green is an author, singer, and comedian who is known for her catchphrase, “Is you good? Is you okay?,” as well as her challenge, DIY, and song parody videos. Green has interviewed President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as actors, like Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick.
Fashion and beauty influencer, Andreas D. Brooks, runs the YouTube Channel, AndreasChoice, which offers a variety of hacks and DIY videos around hair, makeup, clothing, and health.
Gamer and YouTuber, Chris Smoove, is best known for his content around the NBA 2K video game series. As a top creator, Smoove has made videos with NBA pros, such as Tony Parker and John Wall.
Comedian and vlogger, Mark Williams, runs the YouTube channel Mystic Got Jokes, where he uploads pranks and other comedic content. Williams also hosts another YouTube channel, TheMysticVlog, which has more than 1 million subscribers.
Tré Melvin describes himself as a “creator, actor, singer, songwriter, designer, poet, activist.” Performing since a young age, Melvin’s YouTube channel, which was previously called This is a Commentary, features vlogs, skits, and sketches, where the YouTuber plays a variety of different characters.
Comedian, musician, and Emmy nominated actor, DeStorm Power, uploads music videos, sketches, and several web series to his channel. Power is the star, writer, director, and producer of the popular series, Caught, as well as the founder of streaming platform, Zeus Network.
Beauty influencer, Jackie Aina, offers a variety of tutorials and product reviews on her channel. Aina also uses her powerful voice to speak about diversity and inclusion and was recently awarded YouTube Creator of the Year by the NAACP.
As a rapper, spoken word artist, and activist, Richard Williams — better known online as Prince EA — offers advice on everything from work, to relationships, to finding one’s purpose. Williams also delves into global and cultural topics on his channel, including climate change and education.
Also known as JasMeannnn, model and beauty YouTuber, Jasmine Brown, offers hair and makeup tutorials to her followers. Last year, Brown released a clothing line with Love Culture and an eyelash line with Eylure London.
Producing makeup, hair, and challenge videos, Raytifa Boyce — Raye Raye, or Raye, to her fans — is a popular beauty influencer on the YouTube platform, who also has a huge following on Instagram.
Before becoming a beauty creator on YouTube, Alissa Ashley worked in retail cosmetics. Ashley offers makeup tips and tricks on her channel, as well as fun segments, such as “Mystery Makeup Wheel” to her fans.
Launching HowToBlackHair in 2013, Breanna Rutter’s second YouTube channel (under her own name) has amassed more than four-times the subscribers of its predecessor. Author of over 14 hair care books, Rutter’s YouTube channels focus on hair care for both women and men.
Vlogger and comedian, Jarvis Johnson, focuses his efforts on commentary, tech industry, and lifestyle videos. A Senior Software Engineer for Patreon, Johnson dedicates much of his time to creating solutions for digital creators.