Paul Johnson

Apr 25, 2024

Analyzing $500 Million in Creator Payouts: 2024 Influencer Payment Trends

We analyzed half a billion dollars in creator payouts across 250,000 payments from more than 100 brands and agencies. This study aims to uncover where brands are concentrating their spending in the realm of influencer marketing. This article dives into the reality of influencer payments across Instagram (including feed posts, stories, and reels), TikTok, and YouTube. We'll explore the compensation creators receive per platform and discuss the dynamics of commission-based payments through affiliate marketing and whitelisting.

Lumanu's Role in Creator Payments

Lumanu serves as a fintech master vendor (FMV) for brands and agencies collaborating with creative freelancers. Our services cover vendor onboarding, tax compliance, and payments. The data presented below focuses on anonymized aggregate data to ensure confidentiality and integrity. The data encompasses all types of freelancer payments across platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, user-generated content, and even creative productions.

Where Do Payments Go?

Platform preference varies by brand, but data across 100+ brands and agencies proves that overall, Instagram reigns as the queen of influencer marketing:

Share of payment volume ($)

  • Instagram - 71%

  • TikTok - 19%

  • YouTube - 10%

Across sponsored Instagram collaborations, a staggering 89% of payments involve Instagram stories as part of the collaboration. Instagram Reels, a newer feature within Instagram, account for a modest 9% of payment volume.

How much are creators paid?

Actual rates paid are (loosely) correlated to follower count. We found that most calculators found online are wildly inaccurate (as seen below) when it comes to the rates that creators are actually being paid. Most online calculators suggest a linear increase in cost as follower counts increase, actual payout data shows a different story. Here’s what we found brands and agencies are really paying creators for TikTok collaborations based on follower count:

We observed a massive range in rates but it is important to call out that while these collaborations all involved TikTok the scope of deliverables could and did vary. e.g. things such as multiple posts, Spark Ads, a live event component would increase compensation.

For the data nerds like us out there, we ran a regression across the entire data set (including Instagram, YouTube, etc) and the correlation coefficient is .56. What this means is the trend is payment amounts do generally increase as follower count increases but the relationship is not linear (a correlation coefficient of 1.0 would be a perfect linear relationship). *Note that sample data was used for the scatter plot graph below and was set to a 0-1 scale in order to anonymize customer data:

There are several reasons for the wide and overlapping ranges of influencer rates. The primary factor is the deliverables. One IG story frame is going to be cheaper than a full package of social deliverables with multiple rounds of revisions plus an in-person event. Brands using influencer as a component of a larger marketing program may have multiple deal points and asks which they are compensating their creators for. Given the sheer size of this data set with ~250K payments we analyze the amount paid by social platform (below) but not  based on deliverables.

Average rates found via a quick Google search may be an ok place to start but remember because they are solely based on follower count, they don’t tell the full story. Rates can vary based on vertical niche, celebrity status, ability to connect with audiences across social media platforms, etc.

We asked Katie Stoller (Top influencer marketing voice on LinkedIn) her thoughts - “Landing on a fair fee for an influencer program takes a lot of consideration from both sides. The influencer needs to feel like they are satisfied with the compensation for the time, energy and resources they are putting into creating the content (hiring hair and makeup, babysitters, videographers, editors, etc) and the use of their network as a distribution channel (both organic and boosted). On the brand side, they need to make sure the spend is worth the outcome (ROAS). The tricky part of this determination is how at the mercy of the algorithm we are. The negotiation process needs to be an open dialogue based on the deliverable asks, the potential reach of the content, the level of exclusivity and many more contracted deal points that need to be taken into consideration. From there, both sides can land on a budget that works.”

How Do Payment Amounts Vary by Social Platform?

Let’s start with the overall average for payments across ALL platforms:

  • Overall average payment observed per influencer collaboration: $2,300

  • Median influencer payment amount: $800

In our data, 76% of creators were paid below the average amount with top earners bringing the overall average up.

Interestingly, TikTok creators earned slightly more on average than YouTube creators. Partnerships involving Instagram commanded a premium, with payment amounts 40% higher than those for TikTok and YouTube.

Average Payment Amount by Platform (note: this data is per payment which may include multiple pieces of content and/or other deliverables):

  • Instagram: $2,567

  • TikTok: $1,581

  • YouTube: $1,322

Affiliate commission-based payouts

Affiliate commissions are paid to bloggers, social media influencers, and other content creators who use a trackable link provided by a brand partner. This unique link can track sales generated or other action(s). These actions can be the number of unique website visitors or add to carts driven by a creator. Brands may pay for the upstream actions in order to build retargeting audiences. Creators are often a step in the purchase path but do not always drive immediate sales via last click attribution.

In our data set, we observed one affiliate commission-based payment for every four flat fee payments. When we spoke to our customers about affiliate payouts, everyone mentioned they include a flat fee component for content creation along with a variable component for performance.

On average, brands who use a flat fee plus affiliate commission model paid 25% LESS for content creation ($1,700 versus $2,300) and after accounting for the additional median affiliate payout of $400, spent less overall. This may suggest why many creators are not a fan of variable payment structures.

However, high earning creators in affiliate partnerships were paid significantly for the performance of their partnerships. Roughly 8% of partnerships resulted in $10K+ payout(s). And that’s on a % of sales generated for the brand partner so these partnerships are truly win-win.

Percent (%) of ad spend payouts

Brands often request advertising access to creators via allowlisting (Meta) or Spark ads (TikTok). Allowlisting is the process to grant advertising access to a social media account which allows brands to run ads under creator handles as part of performance marketing initiatives. Paying creators a % of ad spend sets up a win-win relationship rewarding creators whose content performs well and receives more ad spend.

Typically brands reimburse creators between 1% - 7% of the amount of ad spend they put through creator accounts.

In our data set, we observed one affiliate or commission-based payment for every ten flat fee payments.

On average, brands who use a flat fee plus % of ad spend model paid 20% LESS for content creation ($1,800 versus $2,300).

In the data set analyzed there was $2M in total payouts across thousands of payouts for ad spend % agreements.The average amount was $127 per month with a median payout was $22. The highest payout for a creator for a single month of ad spend was ~$30K. This specific partnership likely resulted in somewhere around $120K in sales for one creator partnership ad in a single month.

Recommendations for Marketing Teams on Paying Influencers

We’ve just thrown a lot of information and data your way so it’s ok if your head is spinning a bit. In an effort to provide you with some clear and concise takeaways, we’ve put together a list of recommendations to consider when determining how much to pay influencers:

1. Evaluate Different Payment Structures

Given the variability in payment rates across different platforms and follower counts, it is crucial for brands to develop a nuanced understanding of how payment structures can impact influencer effectiveness as well as audience response. Affiliate and/or allowlisting compensation models can be incredibly effective if the tactics ultimately drive results. Marketing teams should at least consider and test both flat fee and commission-based models to find the optimal balance for achieving specific goals.

2. Leverage Data for Better (and Fair) Negotiations

Use data-driven insights from studies like ours to negotiate better rates and conditions with creators. Understanding general baseline rates and how they correlate with follower counts and engagement metrics can empower brands to make informed decisions. When going outside of compensation bands, build a mini business case to understand if the relationship can still deliver on expectations. Oftentimes, variable compensation components can bridge gaps in compensation expectations.

3. Rely on Analytics and Performance Tracking

To further refine influencer marketing strategies, add more data and analytics into the decision-making processes. This will help in identifying the true impact of influencer partnerships and measuring the impact across all partnerships. We recommend tracking beyond  last click direct conversions, and measuring downstream conversion metrics via a centralized tool like Google’s Looker. Did a campaign drive significant traffic to the website who then converted via retargeting? Those are real results that should be captured and acted on.

4. Focus on Long-Term Relationships

Building long-term relationships with creators can lead to more effective marketing campaigns. Brands should focus on developing these partnerships by providing clear communication, fair compensation, and opportunities for growth, which can lead to better content and more authentic engagement over time. The concept of long term relationships is almost a buzz word at this point but consumers often need multiple touch points before purchase and an ongoing relationship is one way to achieve this. Although it was difficult to tease out from our data, anecdotal evidence indicates brands end up paying less per piece of content AND deliver better results via longer term partnerships. Influencers also ultimately receive more compensation creating a winning partnership for both sides.


Lumanu’s analysis of creator payouts demonstrates a dynamic landscape of influencer marketing. Marketing professionals must not only understand payment baselines and trends but also adapt strategies to run creator campaigns while measuring and delivering ROI. Partnerships that include fixed plus variable payment components like commissions or ad spend can lead to more sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships. Ultimately, the goal should be to foster collaborations that not only fit the brand's budget but also enhance the authenticity and effectiveness of the marketing campaign.

Lumanu supports teams that run influencer programs at scale as a fintech master vendor (FMV). Chat with our team to learn more.


Paul Johnson

Apr 25, 2024

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.