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COVID-19 Could See Advertisers Move From Influencers To Streaming Sites

The COVID-19 pandemic could see advertisers shift away from social media influencers to platforms that have dramatically gained viewership, such as TV streaming sites. Already, social media influencers have said they have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in part because PR events have been cancelled, new product launches have been postponed and marketing budgets have been slashed.

The influencer marketing platform Mavrck reported in mid-April that 37% of surveyed influencers had already decreased their rates or may in the future as a result of COVID-19. One Instagram influencer with over 30,000 followers told ChannelNews: “Most of my jobs got postponed or cancelled, I just want to start earning money again!”

According to Mavrck’s mid-April results, 34.8% of surveyed influences had seen an increase in engagement, 37.2% had their engagement stay the same, and 28.1% had lower engagement. The slightly higher engagement does not necessarily translate to higher income, however. Australia’s media companies have had more readers since COVID-19, but have still faced headwinds due to lower advertising income.

While influencers are struggling, streaming services have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, Netflix hit 182.9 million users in Q1, and Disney+ reached 50 million users after only a few months in operation. In Australia, as much as 76% of the population uses YouTube.

“Prior to the onset of coronavirus, we saw the influencer trend diminishing while the streaming TV trend became more prominent,” TechCrunch said in a report. “Streaming has similar, if not more, targeting capabilities as social media, but now it has the eyeballs.”

As of June 2019, 86% of Australia’s online retailers used influencers, according to Power Retail. It will be interesting to see what this percentage is at by June 2020.

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