SushiVid: The Size of Influencer Management in Malaysia

The Size of Influencer Management in Malaysia



his white paper is written in the perspective of the potential of Influencer Management in Malaysia and an estimation of how much social media influencers could make with this profession given that this new form of marketing strategy is rising greatly in the country.

We have divided the white paper into three sections, where we have touched based on:

Section 1: How much does an influencer make per campaign?

Section 2: Brands’ investments in Influencer Management in Malaysia

Section 3: SushiVid’s assumption on market growth rate with Covid-19

The Strategy

Section 1Bottom-Up[Monthly Campaigns x Cost Per Campaign]
Total Influencers in M’sia
Total Earnings of the Influencers
Section 2Top-Down[No. of Brands x Investments or Budgets Per Brand]
No. of Influencer Management Platforms in M’sia
Total Investments in Influencer Management
Section 3CenterGrowth Rate (%)
Total Investments in Influencer Management
Estimated Growth of Investments in Influencer Management



any have been asking and may still be wondering, what is Influencer Management and how does being a social media influencer (especially a full time influencer) really make a living, particularly in Malaysia.

First of all, let us dissect the influencer management landscape in Malaysia.

The Rise of Influencer Management in Malaysia


n Malaysia, be it a primary school student or a grandmother who stays home looking after their grandchildren, almost everyone owns at least one social media account. The number of people reading newspapers, watching televisions or listening to the radio have decreased tremendously, thanks to the rise of social media.

The stark difference here, regardless of media, is really about a user’s contribution. Traditionally contents are one sided - fed to us consumers whether we like it or not, today we have an option to scroll, skip, comment and share contents we prefer. The interaction and ability to somewhat control our action on social media is what makes it so much more appealing.

With this rise of social media, comes opportunities for marketers to tap on. This is how Influencer Management, a new form of marketing strategy is introduced to the market. Using users to share about products that they like. Except these users have thousands of followers. Marketers no longer have to scratch their heads wondering where to advertise their products and services, as a company that has been running around chasing the next big wave, we can tell you the platforms your audiences are lingering on. Instagram, TikTok, and the rest is history - at least for Malaysia. Facebook is definitely trying to re-emerge itself with the recent integration with Instagram on the login process. We will see how that pans out.

With the new forms of engagement and interaction in today’s marketing scene, as well as the growing demand for Influencer Management, it has no doubt created a stage for social media influencers to shine. According to Marketing Dive, 82% of consumers are highly likely to follow the recommendations made by the influencers, before making the final buying decision.

How does an influencer get paid?


here are many ways where the influencers get paid based on the type of content they create. Taking SushiVid as an example, there are a few pricing models for the brands and influencers to choose from:

Pricing ModelsDescription
Cost Per PostContent creation + brand, product or service promotion
Cost Per ShareInfluencers to share ready made content on their social media platforms
Cost Per Sale (currently only available for cosmetics and skincare products)
  • Influencers to be paid by sales commission
  • Brands make payment only based on the quantity of sold products
Live Stream
  • Currently - Influencers to be paid based on live stream duration
  • Future - Influencers to be paid by commission (% of sale)
  • Currently - Brands pay based on live stream duration and number of audience
  • Future - Brands pay by commission (% of sale)
Table 1: Pricing Models

Section 1: How much does an influencer make per campaign?


ccording to Marketing-Interactive, with 80% of marketers investing heavily in Influencer Management, influencers have become the go-to-solution to overcome a growing list of advertising hurdles in the social media landscape of Malaysia.

However, how much will these influencers make out of these marketing budgets?

Based on the data SushiVid has gathered and analysed through the 1,400 campaigns we have managed in 2019, let us give you a simple analytic.

The number of influencers in Malaysia (by tier)


ushiVid has about 12,000 influencers on our database, whom we have worked with over the years. Out of these 12,000 influencers, about 8,400 of them are Malaysian influencers. Of course, not all influencers are on our platform. Just say we only have 50% of the influencers in Malaysia signed up on SushiVid, we would conclude that there are about 16,800 Malaysian influencers out there.

In the industry, we categorised these influencers based on the below tiering:

CategoryNo. of Followers
Nano Influencers1,000 - 10,000 followers
Micro Influencers10,000 - 50,000 followers
Mid-Tier Influencers50,000 - 100,000 followers
Macro-Influencers100,000 - 500,000 followers
Mega-Influencers500,000 - 1,000,000 followers
Table 2: Influencer categories

Based on the listing above, let’s give an estimation to the number of influencers in Malaysia.

CategoryNo. of Influencers in Malaysia
Nano Influencers9,000
Micro Influencers5,200
Mid-Tier Influencers1,800
Table 3: Number of influencers in Malaysia

Anyone can be an influencer as long as you own a social media account and is able to engage with your followers. We calculated Table 3 based on the percentage of influencers in each category in our database. Referring to the table above, we can see there are a lot of Nano influencers in the industry. Nano influencers are our everyday people that usually do not make a living out of content creation. Some of them are actually students that are trying to make some extra pocket money during their free time.

With the data above topped with data that we collected via our platform and analysis via social media channels, we made an estimation on the income for influencers based on their tierings.

CategoryLevel of Enthusiasm Estimated Campaigns Per MonthEstimated Income Per Month (RM)
Nano InfluencersHighly Enthusiastic3 - 5300 - 500
Less Enthusiastic1 - 2100 - 200
Micro InfluencersHighly Enthusiastic5 - 101,000 - 2,000
Less Enthusiastic2 - 3400 - 600
Mid-Tier Influencers Highly Enthusiastic5 - 104,000 - 8,000
Less Enthusiastic1 - 3800 - 2,400
Macro-Influencers Highly Enthusiastic5 - 105,000 - 10,000
Less Enthusiastic2 - 3 2,000 - 3,000
Mega-Influencers Highly Enthusiastic5 - 812,500 - 20,000
Less Enthusiastic37,500
Table 4: Estimated income for influencers versus the number of campaigns per month

Based on the calculations above, we can calculate for any given tier, the maximum they can make in a month and the minimum they would make in a month. With that we will be able to estimate the yearly earnings of influencers in Malaysia. See table below:

CategoryNo. Influencers in MalaysiaTotal Earnings Per Year (RM)
Nano Influencers9,00010.8 million - 54 million
Micro Influencers5,20024.96 million - 124.8 million
Mid-Tier Influencers1,80017.28 million - 172.8 million
Macro Influencers70016.8 million - 84 million
Mega Influencers1009 million - 24 million
Grand Total78.84 million - 459.6 million
Table 5: Total earnings for influencers in Malaysia

This is only an estimate calculation based on cost per post. If every tier influencer makes the minimum number of campaigns, we know that the industry is spending RM78.84 million a year and if the opposite is true, every influencer at their most active rate, can make up to RM459.6 million in a year. This is only for Instagram Picture Posts. We have not included the pricing for Instagram videos, Instagram stories etc.

Moving along to YouTube, one YouTube video from our renowned YouTubers can easily cost up to RM100,000 per video. With other ambassadorship or freelance jobs they are getting, each of them can easily make up to RM150,000 per month!

Let’s take a look at the table below on the YouTube video categories, and an estimation of how much each video will cost based on the categories. For the purpose of this exercise, we have intentionally excluded all professional publishers such as Cilisos and Says and ...etc.

CategoryNo. of YouTubers in MalaysiaCost per video (RM)Total Earnings Per Year (RM)
Beauty205,0001.2 million
Prank/Funny/Entertainment2080,00019.2 million
Gaming & Tech 53,000180,000
Cooking/Recipe 152,000360,000
Total20.94 million
Table 6: Total earnings for YouTubers in Malaysia

Adding both Instagram and YouTube earnings together, and taking into consideration both ends of the continuum (highest and lowest earning influencers could obtain from Influencer Management using the Cost Per Sale model) we know that there should be at least RM99.78 million in influencer management expenditure this year.

Section 2: Brands Investments in Influencer Management in Malaysia


ccording to Business Insider, Influencer Management will be spending up to USD15 billion in 2022, which is a rise from USD8 billion in 2019.

In Malaysia, there are many brands across industries such as FMCG, Tourism & Hospitality, Fashion, Beauty, e-commerce/Marketplace, Consumer Electronic and many more that are seen to always allocate huge budgets in Influencer Management.

There are easily hundreds of brands in the above mentioned industries, and when all these brands combine, can you imagine the amount of investments just on Influencer Management alone?

Based on SushiVid’s proposals made in 2019, we know that there are at least 3,735 brands spending on Influencer Management in Malaysia alone. Kindly refer to the breakdown below by category.

No.Brand CategoryNo. of Notable Brands Doing Influencer Management in MalaysiaPotential No. of Brands Doing Influencer Management in MalaysiaEstimated Total Spend
1Beauty & Skin Care5025030,000,000
3E-Commerce & Digital3015040,000,000
5Electronics & Gadgets105015,000,000
6External non Malaysia10506,000,000
7Do themselves without SushiVid2,00010,000250,000,000
8Small SME1,6008,000200,000,000
Total567 million
Table 7: Estimated spending by brands in Influencer Management

Referring to the table above, if we assume only 1/5 comes to SushiVid for proposals, there are at least 18,675 number of proposals made by other players in the market. Based on this estimation and by using the top-down strategy, we get to estimate brands are spending at least RM567 million on Influencer Management in Malaysia.

Section 3: SushiVid’s Estimation on Market Growth Rate with Covid-19


ased on the analysis in Section 1 and 2, we managed to get an estimation of the total earnings by influencers as well as the total spending by the brands in Influencer Management. With that and taking SushiVid revenue’s pattern as an estimation of the industry growth rate, we have the estimated investment figures in place by the brands in 2020.

SushiVid was established back in 2016 and in a year's time, our revenue quadrupled. The figures quadrupled again in 2018 when SushiVid successfully established our name in the Influencer Management industry. In 2019, the figures doubled from what we made in 2018.

In 2020, following the pattern we see with the market growth, the figures should at least double again based on the numbers achieved in 2019. However, looking at the current situation with the Covid-19 outbreak, we foresee the industry will slow down by at least 50%.

Hence, instead of RM1.14 billion in investment based on the initial growth rate, we assume the investment would stay at RM567 million in 2020, with the Covid-19 outbreak being taken into consideration.

No doubt the global economy is being affected tremendously by the current Covid-19 outbreak, with Malaysia being one of the highly infected Asian countries. However, despite the current scene, we still see a positive growth in Influencer Management because this profession is solely digital, which can be done in a closed door environment.

There are more opportunities we foresee would arise despite the current crisis. We will discuss further in our upcoming white papers.