Press enter to see results or esc to cancel.

#ThroughTheVine Episode 1: Viacom Bets on Influencer Marketing

Within a span of two months, Viacom has both acquired WhoSay, an influencer marketing firm, and VidCon, perhaps the largest conference for online video creators and enthusiasts.

Although Viacom has lagged behind its competitors like Sony, Vivendi, or Comcast – this pivot into online video and Influencer Marketing is not only pretty unsurprising but also sets them up to dominate their competition in the years to come.

Grapevine CEO, Grant Deken, joined me to talk about this in the first episode of #ThroughTheVine, where we pick the freshest news of the week to help you navigate the crazy world of Influencer Marketing:

If you’re unfamiliar with the media conglomerate, Viacom owns channels such as Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, VH1, and many more. These are networks that connected millennials are very fond of.

Quick examples of some influencers that achieved notoriety from these networks:

Star Network YouTube Followers Instagram Followers
Josh Peck Nickelodeon 941,000 5.2M
Jennette McCurdy Nickelodeon 24,000 7.3M
Victoria Justice Nickelodeon 544,000 13.9M
Gabrielle Union BET N/A 9.4M
Kendall Kyndal BET N/A 1.2M
Jess Hilarious BET N/A 2.3M
Nikki Glaser Comedy Central N/A 112,000
James Davis Comedy Central N/A 27,000
Brandon Wardell Comedy Central N/A 38,500

With just Instagram alone, these influencers reach just under 40 million subscribers. However, these stars became famous before Viacom made some aggressive moves into Influencer Marketing. Imagine the revenue that Viacom could have generated if they had Influencer resources like WhoSay to support their stars from the beginning?

With these two moves, Viacom is switching from focusing on programming to an almost influencer-first strategy. Expect to see creators on Viacom-owned networks drive their own projects and programming leveraging the power of their fanbase to get what they want.

On the VidCon side, this provides Viacom with a great platform to vet and promote up-and-coming creators on the networks they own. On top of that, it also affords Viacom the opportunity to launch brands in front of a global audience of engaged fans.

For the digital media and influencer marketing landscape, this is a fundamental shift in balance of power towards creators — and that’s a good thing for everyone. 

Grapevine is the world's leading influencer marketing platform. Grapevine helps marketers identify and collaborate with trusted social creators to reach and engage their customers.

Leave a Comment