Independent Creators Dominating Major Brands on Content, Marketing, and Community

Boston, MA — February 4, 2014 Beauty industry consumers are turning to YouTube in record numbers, but are bypassing major brands for product recommendations, instructional guidance, and social engagement. Today, Pixability launched “Beauty on YouTube: How YouTube is Radically Transforming the Beauty Industry and What That Means for Brands,” a comprehensive study on one of the most active and leading-edge industries in the digital video marketplace. For all their creative and advertising investments, major brands have only garnered 3% of the 14.9 billion beauty-related video views on YouTube. Download Pixability’s full report here.

Identifying and analyzing how 168 major beauty brands and 45,000 YouTube beauty-focused personalities manage, produce, and socialize more than 877,000 hair care, skin care, makeup, and nail videos, the report highlights striking differences between those manufacturing products and those manufacturing videos about products. Just a handful of beauty brands are effectively incorporating YouTube into their web and commerce initiatives, while only a few are successfully working with YouTube’s independent beauty personalities.

“Understanding the important role of video in the beauty industry is a given, so we had the foresight to fully integrate YouTube into our marketing several years back and it paid off,” said Cory Pulice, VP E-commerce for e.l.f. Cosmetics. “Creating informative and instructional videos for our premium cosmetic and makeup products is only part of the equation. Genuinely engaging with our passionate YouTube community is the other part, and that helps drive our business.”

Pixability’s beauty study uses more data than any other previously conducted analysis on the digital video marketplace for the beauty industry, and delivers both critical market insights and important prescriptive measures for brands and beauty content producers. Some of the report’s key findings include:

  1. Teenagers challenge brands and agencies. Multi-billion dollar beauty corporations with massive ad budgets and high-end creative agencies are getting beat on YouTube by teenage girls producing content in their bedrooms. YouTube vloggers, haul girls, and other beauty content creators control 97% of conversations around beauty topics and related brands on YouTube.
  2. YouTube emerges as a lifestyle utility. People watch non-brand YouTube tutorials in the morning and in the evening on the East Coast and West Coast as they prepare for work and then a night out. Non-branded beauty tutorial content shows significant YouTube search spikes at specific times of day typically associated with applying makeup and doing hair. Comparatively, beauty brand video searches and views on YouTube remain flat regardless of time of day.
  3. A television mentality doesn’t work on YouTube. Brands and their agencies continue to suffer from a “television” mentality on YouTube as they deliver content that’s out of step with the digital audience and miss enormous opportunities for engagement, awareness, and commercialization. Repurposed television commercials published to YouTube generally underperform both on views and with audience engagement. YouTube’s top 25 beauty vloggers receive 2600% more comments on their made-for-YouTube content on average than beauty brand channels’ content.

“The data in this study highlights the tipping point for share-of-voice for the beauty business. More importantly, these YouTube dynamics will have a profound effect on how beauty brands and their agencies market and advertise,” said Rob Ciampa, CMO of Pixability. “Brands that mistakenly treat YouTube as a quasi-television station should not be surprised by dismal ROI. Those that embrace YouTube as a critical digital marketing and communication medium, however, will see outstanding results. Pixability’s analysis of the beauty industry on YouTube backs that up.”

Pixability will present additional details of the study at WWD Digital Forum: Beauty Edition on February 11, 2014 in New York City. The company will also host a free live webinar on both the study and the beauty industry on YouTube on February 26, 2014. Registration details can be found at

For a comprehensive look at all major findings and best practices contained in “Beauty on YouTube,” please download the full report.

Study Methodology

YouTube-certified data scientists used Pixability’s big data YouTube software to collect, validate, and analyze beauty-related information from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sources. Pixability’s software then authenticated and cleansed the candidate data sets of videos, channels, and associated metadata to identify more than 877,000 hair care, skin care, makeup, and nail videos on YouTube. The software then catalogued relevant channels, including those of 168 beauty brand channels, along with another 45,000 channels controlled by YouTube beauty personalities and vloggers. All individual metrics per video were added by channel and then by owner to get to the total values used in the study. The raw data was used as input for Pixability’s Online Video Grader software. The data presented in the study represents?full and exact counts of the metrics described above. No sampling, estimates, regressions?or projections were used. The complete methodology, including exact data harvested for each channel by Pixability’s YouTube software and the resulting Grader scores from Pixability’s Online Video Grader software, is included in the full report.

For more information about the report, email Pixability at or call 888-PIX-VIDEO (888-749-8433).

About Pixability

Pixability, Inc. is a big data software company that helps major brands dramatically increase YouTube impact on their target audiences. Pixability’s YouTube technology mines billions of YouTube video views, relevant social communities, search patterns, and competitors’ moves. Major brands use the insights generated by Pixability’s software to hone strategies, optimize channels and content, and execute ad campaigns. Headquartered in Boston with offices in New York and Los Angeles, Pixability drives YouTube performance for brands and boosts campaign and media ROI. For more information, please visit

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Rob Ciampa
Pixability, Inc.