In 2014, a survey by AT Kearney identified Malaysia as one of the top three outsourcing choices for multinational corporations, thanks in part to the combination of lower labour costs and a highly skilled work force.
On that logic, brands should be flocking to the Asian market in search of YouTubers, right?
The great divide
Whilst a US YouTuber, with an average of 4,000 subscribers charges US$150 per video for a make-up review, a Malaysian YouTuber with 4,000 subscribers is asking for US$800 minimum for the same work.
If you were a brand, who would you give your offer?
We thought so.
Why is this happening?
There are a couple of key factors that have driven this disparity.
Supply/demandFirst, there’s the basic supply/demand principle of economics. In the US, there is currently a glut of YouTubers, meaning stars have to undercut each other to lure brands.
To the contrary, Asian YouTubers are currently a rare breed, and have thus far gotten away with charging a premium for their services. But these exorbitant prices cannot be sustained.
Exchange ratesBased in Malaysia we appreciate that these are difficult times financially. With the ringgit struggling, exchange rates dictate that we are paying higher prices for the imported equipment we need to succeed as YouTubers. It’s tough. We get that. But, you can’t be forcing brands to wear these costs.
If we look at our US counterparts, they only charge YouTubers for their time in creating the video. They understand that the other costs represent their investment into their YouTuber career. So too, it’s rare that a freelance blogger will factor laptop rental into their content fee.
Eye on the prizeIt is essential to remember that as a YouTuber, you’re not competing against other influencers. The reality is that you’re competing for a slice of a brand’s marketing budget. As we explained in our Pricing Guidelines blog
“To a brand, marketing budget is marketing budget. It doesn’t matter if it is spent on YouTube marketing, email marketing or print ads, it is money allocated to marketing.”And of course, beyond email marketing and print ads, you’re also competing against Facebook and Instagram, renowned for theirtargeted and inexpensive marketing prowess.
Unfortunately, expensive YouTube campaigns will be shunned in the face of these cheaper options. This in turn will stall the development of the Asian influencer scene, serving to cast us into a downward spiral of lower quality content, piracy and a lack of demand.
We want to be clear that we aren’t suggesting our shoal of YouTubers flounder in abject poverty to secure work. What we want to see is fair pricing models being utilised; models that are competitive enough to draw brands to the region; models that brands trust; models that provide brands with value per click, per view. It is these fair prices which will generate the vibrant YouTuber marketplace that we at SushiVid set out to create.
Should you reconsider your pricing model?If you’re not attracting the demand you had expected, it may be time to ask yourself the following questions:Are you charging high prices just because everybody else is?Are you inflating your prices by factoring equipment costs into your pricing structure?Are you conscious that you are not offering genuine pay per click/pay per view value?Are you worried that you are not competitive in the global marketplace?
If you answered yes to the above, it might be time to reconsider your pricing model. Not sure? Feel free to get in touch and discuss your rates. We’d love to help because only when the price corrects itself will we collectively prosper.
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