A Study Shows That Black Content Creators Make Significantly Less Than Their White Counterparts

A female Black influencer. Image: Leo Patrizi/GETTY IMAGES

A study released on Monday found that Black content creators make significantly less money than their white counterparts, NBC News reports.

Conducted by MSL U.S., in partnership with The Influencer League, “Time to Face the Influencer Pay Gap” examined several factors including annual income, size of followings, the amounts influencers were offered for deals and more in their study of the racial pay disparity.

Diana Littman, the CEO of MSL U.S., said in a statement that economic equality has long plagued the industry.

“Issues of systematic injustice have plagued Influencer marketing for years—and been largely ignored for far too long,” Diana Littman, the CEO of MSL U.S., said in a statement. “Our research shines a spotlight on the present state of influencer marketing and charts the path forward for both the agency and our industry.”

In the survey, over 400 U.S.-based influencers that span a wide range of platforms were involved. Participants were asked to report their follower counts, race, and income from brands.

The study discovered that the pay gap between white influencers and Black, indigenous, or other people of color is 29 percent. When the research highlighted the pay difference between white and Black influencers, the chasm increased to 35 percent. Additionally, about 77 percent of Black influencers fall into the “nano” or “micro” categories, which are influencers with less than 50,000 followers; 59 percent of white influencers fall into the nano or micro-influencer territory.

Also, according to the study, the average annual compensation for nano and micro-influencers is around $27,000 while macro-influencers make an excess of $100,000.

Almost half of the Black influencers who took part in the research study said their race was a contributing factor as to why their services fall below market value. A staggering 59 percent said that raising the issue of race has negatively affected their incomes. Only 14 percent of white creators felt the same way.

D’Anthony Jackson, a digital and influencer strategist at MSL, said that racial pay gaps in the influencer economy is a reflection of every other sector in the workforce.

“The gap this study uncovered in influencer marketing vastly overshadows the gaps in any other industry,” Jackson, a digital and influencer strategist at MSL, said in a statement. “The gap this study uncovered in influencer marketing vastly overshadows the gaps in any other industry.”

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