UK influencers' incomes vary according to skin colour, hair, age

In the UK, dark-skinned content creators earn almost 45% less than light-skinned ones, according to a study conducted in the UK by talent management agency SevenSix. Hair type and age also have an important influence.

Conducted from March to May 2024, among 300 influencers of colour in the UK, the 2024 Influencer Pricing Report [1] shows that Black creators are earning 34% less than white creators in 2024, compared to 22% in 2022. This gap is roughly similar to that observed in the US (35%) in 2021 in a report by The Influencer League and MSL Group.

We needed data to back up what we have always been saying, which is that lighter-skinned or racially ambiguous creators would be getting more work than those who had dark skin,founder of the SevenSix Agency, Charlotte Stavrou, told Business Insider.

This difference in income is also observed for other communities. According to the study, South-East Asian influencers earn 57.22% less than white influencers, those from East Asia 38.4% less and those from South Asia 30.7% less.

Skin tone and hair

Beyond their origins, influencers’ physical appearance also plays a role. Influencers with a “deep dark” skin tone earn 44.63% less than “light-skinned” influencers. “This new information adds further nuance to why, even if two creators are of the same ethnicity, one could be more in demand or paid a greater sum than the other,” says Business Insider.

Hair texture also influences influencer pay. Those with curly hair reported incomes ranging from £800 to £1,023, compared with £1,713 to £2,191 for those with straighter hair.

Age-related differences

While origins and appearance play a role, age can tip the balance too, according to the report. While 60% of creators over 40 feel discriminated against because of their age, it would appear that their fears are partly justified. The study reports that young influencers aged 18-39 earned 144% more than those over 40 on TikTok. On Instagram, the dynamic is quite different. It’s the older influencers who come out on top, earning between £1,546 and £1,978 for 40-59 year-olds, compared to £1,245 to £1,592 for 18-25 year-olds.

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