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Vloggers Winning Online Battle Over Brands

When it comes to beauty content on the Google-owned YouTube, vloggers like Michelle Phan are running mascara rings around the major brands.

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Beauty vlogger Michelle Phan’s “Matte About You” video posted on her YouTube channel on March 7 already has 1.2 million views, a norm for her. Then there is MAC Cosmetics, whose most-watched video so far this year is “Viva Glam — Behind the Scenes With Rihanna.” It has received more than 58,000 views since early February.


The numbers don’t lie — when it comes to beauty content on the Google-owned YouTube, vloggers like Phan are running mascara rings around the major brands.


YouTube has become the authority for makeup artistry online — and major beauty brands are missing out. Users want to view tutorials and product reviews, and they have more than 30 seconds to watch them, according to Rob Ciampa, chief marketing officer of Pixability, a data software company that helps major brands with YouTube.


A surprisingly small percentage of beauty videos on YouTube come from the leading beauty houses, Ciampa said. Of the platform’s 14.9 billion beauty-related video views, just 3 percent come from these companies, while 97 percent of views are for independent content creators. In 2010, beauty-related content on YouTube saw about 300 million views a month, and by 2013, the number had ballooned to 700 million — with 27,000 beauty videos posted in January 2013 alone.


“It’s amazing how teenagers in their bedrooms can create more YouTube content than some of the major brands and their agencies,” Ciampa told WWD. “This isn’t that brands can’t do it; there is [just] so much emphasis on high-end content. They don’t need as highly produced content — and this is a by-product of what’s coming over from the TV world.”


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