TikTok Top 100 influencers may have lost Rs 100-120 crore due to ban: IIHB Report

Riyaz Aly, Faisal Shaikh, Arishfa Khan, Jannat Zubair Rahmani and Awez Darbar top earners

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 9, 2020 10:00 AM

The Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB) has released a report on the earnings of TikTok influencers.
According to the report, Riyaz Aly, with 42.3 million followers, was the big boy of India’s TikTok world.
"This 16-17 year old music lip-syncher from the Jaigaon, a border town of Bhutan, was the highest grosser amongst TikTokers in India on monies he made from peddling his influence for brands, labels and clients. IIHB’s research team, after detailed discussions with market intermediaries, talent managers and TikTokers themselves estimated Aly’s annual earnings from TikTok to be at Rs 5-6 crore. His run-rate during the pandemic was actually higher and he could’ve easily crossed Rs 8-9 crore in 2020, but for the ban," said IIHB.
Faisal Shaikh, more commonly known as ‘Mr. Faisu’ was on the second spot among TikTok influencers in India. "Shaikh’s earnings from Tiktok are estimated at Rs 4-4.5 crore. Again, this figure could have been substantially more but for the ban, as numbers on revenue had picked up substantially during the lockdown," said IIHB.
Arishfa Khan’s earnings are also estimated to be in the range of Rs 4-4.5 crore. She is third in the list of highest number of TikTok followers. Jannat Zubair Rahmani, with over 27.6 million followers on Tiktok, is said to have earnings from TikTok at Rs 5 to 5.5 crore, a notch higher than Faisal Shaikh and Arishfa, though both of them otherwise enjoy larger follower bases.
Awez Darbar, son of well-known musician Ismail Darbar, ranked fifth by the number of followers, has earnings of Rs 2.5-3 crore, which was set to rise exponentially this year.
"Avneet Kaur, ranked No. 9 by follower numbers, was another major rising star of the TikTok universe with earnings estimated at Rs 3-3.5 crore. Aashika Bhatia, who ranked only at No. 18, was also earning in the range of Rs 3-3.5 crore, and punching much above her weight class," read the statement by IIHB.
Aashika had been predicted to be the future giant killer of the global TikTok world, with experts having said that one day she would topple TikTok World No. 1 Loren Gray as the richest TikToker on the planet.
Bhavin Bhanushali, who was first seen in OTT series 'Aisha – A Virtual Girlfriend' seems to have been raking in disproportionate earnings to his 20th ranking on the TikTok tables. "With an annual earnings of Rs 2.5-3 crore, it could well be a function of good marketing, and outreach," said IIHB.
The IIHB research team met a large number of those from the TikTok world, in the past week, to arrive at a gross number on the loss that TikTok’s exit has created. An educated estimate is a dent of about Rs 120 crore at most for the Top 100 influencers. Pessimistic estimates could even be Rs 100 crore.
"But interestingly, the long tail of TikTok is really really long. Someone with a 1 million follower base could earn Rs 30-35,000 a month. At double that number, the earnings could be in the range of Rs 50,000," said IIHB.

Commenting on the incomes generated by TikTok influencers, Dr. Sandeep Goyal, Chief Mentor of IIHB, said, “Prices on TikTok for paid content were not high too. A Picture Post for a Top 10 TikToker would cost in the range of Rs 1,20,000 to 1,50,000; A Carousel or GIF cost Rs. 1,50,000 for a Top 10 influencer, but dropped to Rs. 5000 for a Top 100 ranker. A Story was priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 50,000 depending on the pecking order; A Story Highlight was priced between Rs 10,000 and Rs 1,00,000 and a Link in Bio (24 hours) fetched between a meager Rs 5,000 to Rs. 35,000. For followers running into millions, this is indeed poor compensation.”
He added, “The one thing I could never fully understand with respect to TikTok was why its millions of followers did not convert into larger earnings for its influencers. There were easily at least 50 influencers with over 10 million followers. That is no small number. But the bottom of the Top 20 list barely made Rs 5-6 lakh a month, in reality. There were taller claims and larger stats touted by agents and middle-men, but the actual numbers were actually much lower.”
Answering another pertinent question, Dr. Goyal elaborated, “Did TikTok suffer because of an age skew? More than 60% of TikTok’s active daily user base was said to be between 16 and 24 years. Some even younger. While this is an age cohort that is theoretically very attractive to brands, in reality, this age-group does not really have as much discretionary spending power as compared to their peers in Western economies.”

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