Influencer Marketing Landscape in Europe in 2021

Influencer Marketing Benchmark 2021 in Europe – Value chain and main actors (Quentin Bordage, CEO Kolsquare – August 2021)

The worldwide Covid19 pandemic had a major (mainly positive) impact on the Influencer Marketing Benchmark 2021 in Europe, notably fueled by the boom of e-commerce and a global acceleration of digitalization in the media industry. As a result, the Influencer Marketing market size reached more than 10B€ in Europe in 2021 ! A few players didn’t survive this crisis, but new niche companies appeared where entry barriers are lower (agencies and platforms specialized on 1 social network) and the consolidation accelerated with several acquisitions. The main moves come from e-commerce players (like Amazon and major affiliation technologies) that decided to enter the Influencer Marketing game, as well as the rise of live shopping solutions. Below is my analysis.

To better understand the major evolutions of the influencer marketing market since 2019, please find below the previous versions of this Influencer Marketing Benchmark

  • Influencer marketing benchmark 2019 here.
  • Influencer marketing benchmark 2020 here

How big is the Influencer Marketing market in Europe in 2021?

Influence is booming !! No more marketing campaign is launched without an Influence Marketing – or IM – dimension (and budget). In 2021, the Influencer Marketing market in Europe seems to have already reached 10 to 11B€ with an expected average annual growth(CAGR) of 30% until 2025 ! WOW !

In 2021, already 3B€ are spent by European companies in influencers fees, to which you can add

  • 3B€ of « Seeding » spending (amount invested by brands in « free » product – seeding, including the product/services costs, logistics – delivery, trips, …- , human time spend within the companies to deliver the campaigns
  • 3B€ of technology solutions spending (invested in the overall tech needs such as IM platforms, data buying, UGC platforms, affiliation platforms/fees, liveshopping and social listening…)
  • 1 to 2B€ in additional « paid media » (around 0,5€ invested in paid media to promote sponsored contents for each 1€ invested in Influencers).

Thus, we can easily understand that IM currently attracts more than 300 different players in Europe (+600 worldwide!). All those players are not significant, and in this Influencer marketing benchmark 2021 I tried only to focus on the main companies significantly operating in Europe (which already makes 107 companies).

How to read this analysis of the Influencer Marketing market in Europe in 2021?

I figured the 107 main players in the Influencer Marketing Value Chain (see below), from traditional talent management upstream, to social listening downstream, including influencers activation, data providers, and other IRM (Influencer Relationship Management) providers.

Some players focus on Mega influencers (usually celebrities, with millions of followers) or on Micro Influencers or Nano Influencers. Others are more generalists as you will see.

What’s new in the Influencer Marketing Landscape in Europe in 2021?

Some market players unfortunately closed (and disappeared from the landscape compared to the previous version)

  • Studio Bagel (acquired by Canal+ in France) closed in Dec 2019 (here)
  • Popular Chip closed down in Singapore in 2020
  • InfluencerDB closed in Germany in 2021 as Facebook denies access to data (IDB partly sold its customer base to InfluData) (more here)
  • Diagonal View seems no longer active after being acquired by Sky

Huge consolidation movement in the market

From the Social Listening players : more mature on the value chain, with more financial means and taking the lead on the market consolidation

  • Meltwater acquired Linkfluence (social listening) and Klear (IRM)
  • Launchmetrics acquired Parklu, an Influencer Marketing agency (tech supported) in China
  • Brandwatch acquired by Cision (2021)

From agencies : lots of local players with

  • Ykone (agency, owned by Unify/TF1) acquired MB Influence in Italy (agency)
  • Reachbird (Agency) was acquired by Adesso, one of the leading IT providers in the German-speaking market
  • Lefty (platform) joined the Independents Group / Karla Otto (PR Agency)
  • Follow Agency (agency) was acquired by European Digital Group (investment structure)
  • Relatable (agency) was acquired by the leading Live shopping solution Bambuser (2021)
  • You & Mister Jones acquired Collectively (in the US)

From other players

  • Klarna (online payment for ecommerce) acquired APPRL (platform) in Sweden
  • Bazaarvoice (ecommerce solution) acquired Curalate (UGC platform) in 2020 after already moving in 2019 with the acquisition of Influenster (platform)
  • Julius (platform) acquired Hypr (platform)

3 significant players decided to move positioning

  • Influence4You and Buzzoole dropped the platform war to focus on an agency model in France and in Italy
  • Hypeauditor, formely focused on providing data, launched its own Influencer Marketing platform (and thus now compete with its own customers that buys data)

9 new players are now appearing in this influencer marketing market bechmark 2021, especially where entry barriers are lower

In the agency category

  • Beastly
  • IMA
  • Joli
  • Inca (owned by GroupM / WPP)

In the Specialized Social Network platform category

  • Tokfluence on TikTok
  • Favikon on Instagram
  • InfluSpy
  • Infludata
  • Iroin

2 new categories were created in the « Performance » step of the value chain, confirming the entry of new players fueled buy the surge in e-commerce

  • Affiliation / e-commerce : affiliation and IM are converging, accelerated during the Covid pandemic with the e-commerce boom. Influencers have never been driving so much consumers for e-commerce platforms, and brands need to track sales.
  • Live shopping : the big trend of the latest months in the market (coming from China), with lots of new players

Finally, several fundraising occured :

  • Whatnot (live shopping) raised 50M$
  • Creator IQ (platform) raised 25M$
  • Popshop Live (live shopping) raised 20M$
  • Tagger (platform) raised 8,5M$

The Methodology

This Influencer marketing benchmark 2021 is the 4th edition. It is based on my feedback after 11 years in this industry, as Kolsquare provides brands and agencies since 2011 with Influence services and technologies, from celebrities to micro-influencers. This analysis is a will, as a market leader, to share my knowledge with marketing professionals that are asking several questions : what is Kolsquare exactly doing? What can I do with your technology? How are you different from this or this company? I think that @Kolsquare we have a pretty unique and rare understanding of this fascinating market, and I wanted to share it.

Our team knows the market perfectly well. We have seen it come to birth, grow, and accelerate in the last 5 years with numerous new players entering.

From a personal point of view, I invested a lot of my time in developing relations with my peers, whether direct competitors or complementary players, and I am really happy that we have pretty good relations. So, I had the opportunity to meet most of the founders quoted in this European Benchmark, in 1to1, or during big events like Influencer Marketing Show in London. We regularly share info about the market, recent evolutions, our offers and products, and our visions.

Finally, our clients and prospects also like to share lots of data about our competitors.

We believe that, in general, we have an exhaustive and objective understanding of the European Influencer Marketing market.

And if you think I missed important info or players, please contact me !!

Detailed companies listing :

All-in-One Activation Platforms

Kolsquare

Creator IQ

Upfluence

Julius

Tagger

Mavrck

Mikz Alliance

Influencity

Seeding platform

Octoly

Indahash

Hivency (acquisition of Lucette in 2020)

Influencer

Postforrent

Collabary

Social Network focused platform (usually Instagram Only)

Lefty

Peg

Takumi

Iroin

Favikon

InfluData

Tokfluence

Influspy

IRM

Onanalytica

Klear

Traackr

Stellar

Neoreach

Nano / UGC Platforms

Pixlee

Curalate

Expertvoice

Voo (belongs to woo)

Sampleo

Olapic

Tagmango

Valueyournetwork

Yotpo

Metapic

Bazaarvoice

Influenster

Agencies

Ykone

Buzzoole

Influence4brands

Reech

Agence des medias sociaux

Woo

Reachbird

Tanke

Whalar

Obviously

Ctzar

Talify

Territory Influence

Fourth Floor

IMA

Primetag

Intermate

Beastly

Relatable

Data Providers

Hype Auditor

Social Data

Pentos

Data Sift

Linkalize

Analytics – for Brands

Tribe Dynamics

Analysa

Lumanu

Analytics – for KOLs

Q83

Tagmango

Snipfeed

Affiliation e-commerce

Affilae

Awin

Amazon Influencers

AliExpress Connect (Influencers)

Rakuten Advertising

Tradedoubler

Effinity

CJ Affiliate

Kwanko

Carro

LTK / Rewardstyle

Live Shopping

Bambuser

Whatnot

Popshoplive

Reetags

Livescale

Social Listeners

Sprinkler

Linkfluence

Digimind

Synthesio

Mention

Talkwalker

Launchmetric

Cision

Meltwater

Brandwatch

MCN / Studios

Webedia

Mediakraft

Brave Bison

Talent Village

Vertical Station

Follow

Studio71

MeltyGroup

Ritual Network

The Fifth

Zoom In

Once again, if you think I missed important info or players, please contact me !!

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