With a staggering 1.8 million beauty videos amassing over 45 billion views, YouTube has the beauty market cornered, and brands are racing to get behind the eight ball. Nadia Stennett reports.


This week YouTube video marketing platform Pixability released a study of the video sharing site’s beauty ecosystem that’s revealed many brands are well behind the pack when it comes to harnessing the pulling power of YouTube.

According to the new report, Beauty On YouTube 2015, with 1.8 million beauty focussed videos amassing some 45 billion (yep, billion) views currently on YouTube, beauty content on the site has skyrocketed, growing by a whopping 50 percent in the past year.

Unsurprisingly, women make up 89 per cent of the site’s beauty video viewing audience, while more strikingly, beauty videos aimed at over 45s grew 62 per cent faster than the rest of the beauty space, highlighting a shift in a medium that was once considered predominately targeted at Gen Y-ers.

…the ability for beauty brands to respond to the rapidly changing landscape on YouTube is now a key factor in determining success in terms of reach and impact.

“The beauty space on YouTube is massive and constantly evolving, and having a solid understanding of our audience and the influential beauty creator community is critical to our digital strategy,” said Bobbi Brown Cosmetics global social community manager, Andrea Barton of the findings.

Indeed, the ability for beauty brands to respond to the rapidly changing landscape on YouTube and the way their target audience consumes video content in general is now a key factor in determining success in terms of reach and impact.

A snapshot of Pixability’s annual YouTube report. (Source:

The Pixability study also emphasises the major ways in which the YouTube medium has changed in the beauty space, including increased variety and quantity of content, evolving audience demographics, increased advertising investment and the shifting rankings of specific beauty creators according to reach and influence.

In particular, as the hierarchy of YouTube’s beauty vlogging elite reconfigures, savvy brands are seizing the opportunity to up their video advertising spend and catch up before they fall behind in the race.

YouTube number one beauty vlogger, 28-year-old Michelle Phan has over a billion YouTube views

One who’s not moving from her rank though, is YouTube number one beauty vlogger, 28-year-old Michelle Phan, with over a billion YouTube views, whose estimated net worth is in the millions thanks to a business empire capitalising on her YouTube fame which includes beauty subscription company, Glam Bags, with an $84 million annual sales run-rate. 

Phan’s makeup focussed videos also take advantage of the fact cosmetic related videos are what viewers want, with 51 per cent of YouTube’s overall beauty content being makeup focussed.


The study, which analyses the YouTube practices of 215 beauty brands and 182,621 independent YouTube beauty creators across makeup, skincare, hair, nails, and perfume categories, found that many brands aren’t doing enough in the YouTube space to keep up with their competitors, made evident by the fact independent vloggers like Phan have thus far been more successful at reaching and influencing online viewers than brands.

But don’t despair if you’re a beauty company just getting the hang of the YouTube landscape, the Pixability report also goes on to make some key recommendations to keep your head above water as YouTube beauty space continues to skyrocket.

DO: Partner up

Teaming up with major YouTube influencers is a proven strategy that’s worked to bring many lesser known brands into the spotlight and catapult products to success. Just take beauty vlogger Wayne Goss, whose makeup brush racked up a 12,000 person wait list in two days before it was even released, thanks to the beauty guru’s YouTube fame.

DON’T: Ditch the old

Many brands sporadically tidy up their YouTube channels by deleting old or outdated content, thereby compromising thousands of potential views. Keep in mind that even when a product video is no longer relevant, it is still a means of drawing viewers to your channel. This lesson was learned by prestige makeup giant Dior, who lost over 40 million potential views by deleting old content earlier this year.

To read the rest of Pixability’s recommendations based on he YouTube 2015 Beauty Report, you can register at Beauty on YouTube 2015

Have your say: Is your brand on YouTube? How important is staying abreast of online trends to your business?