Given that fifty percent of YouTube creators say that the majority of their income is derived from brand deals, or sponsored mentions inside videos, the Internet Creators Guild (ICG) — a non-profit organization founded roughly one year ago by YouTube luminary Hank Green — has released a new study aimed to alleviate widespread frustration and confusion about this oft-misunderstood industry.
Prices for brand deals fluctuate wildly, according to the ICG — which surveyed 100 professional creators — and there are no industry-wide standard rates. And given that creators are typically contractually prevented from disclosing deal terms, many nascent creators remain in the dark about how to navigate the space. According to the ICG, prices for a mention within a video can range from 0.2 cents per view at the very least to a maximum of 50 cents per view, while prices for a fully integrated video ad can range from 2 cents per view to $1.80 per view.
The bottom line, the organization concludes, is that “many creators are able to (and should) charge significantly more” than they are. The ICG suggests that the minimum cost per view (CPV) rate for a brand mention should be 1.5 cents, while creators should expect no less than 5 cents for a full integration. The ICG notes, however, that these are the bare minimums that a creator should expect, and that a vast majority of deals will likely exceed these rates.
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In addition to experiencing confusion about how much money to charge, a staggering number of creators reported that they’d experienced problems receiving payment from brands even after a video was completed — to the tune of 29%, according to the ICG. For this reason, the organization says that creators should seek “contract terms that indicate payment delivered on upload and limit the number of revisions.”
Check out other pain points in the ICG-compiled charts below:
Finally, the ICG has compiled a list of best practices to help creators — 84% of whom said they feared that doing too many brand deals could negatively impact their channels — go about making deals more expertly. The ICG suggests, for instance, that creators contractually specify a set number of video revisions and charge brands more for any extra reviews. Additionally, creators should be aware of the value of different social platforms (an Instagram post is worth significantly more than a Twitter post, for instance), when negotiating contracts that include cross-platform promotion.
In collaboration with digital talent manager Sarah Weichel, the ICG has also created a sample rate sheet that creators can send to prospective brand partners, which is available here.