The 9 Most Influential YouTube Stars To Know Now

YouTube Star Eva Gutowski
Eva Gutowski.
Frankie Batista.

Rising stars on YouTube are marketers’ Holy Grail — they’re the new voices of promotional power. While thousands of people post content on YouTube, Eva Gutowski, Hannah Hart and other social standouts aim to engage and influence through their own blend of original videos. Best of all, these digital celebs have diehard followers who hang — and often act — on their every word.

These content creators decide what’s new and what’s next — and they’re amassing personal fortunes along the way, thanks to the growing number of brands that are seeking them out.

Here, Footwear News names the nine powerful YouTubers that brands and retailers should watch.

Eva Gutowski
Channel: MyLifeAsEva
Subscribers: 4 million
Total views: 241 million
Social audience: 573K (Twitter); 2M (Instagram)
Content style: Beauty and fashion, DIY, how-tos, tutorials
Most-watched video: “Literally My Life”; 12M view
Videos created: 164
Brands worked with: PacSun, WallFlower Jeans, Kohls, Sperry for Journeys
Shoe highlights: “Sperry allowed me to go on an epic vacation to Hawaii — and I was able to take my audience along for the ride. I’d love to work with Nike or Converse.”

Jacob Keller
Channel: AlwaysFreshApparel
Subscribers: 134,536
Total views: 11 million
Social audience: 21.9K (Twitter); 72K (Instagram)
Content style: Fashion consulting, sneaker hauls
Most-watched video: “Nike Air Yeezy 2 ‘Red October’ Discussions & On Feet”; 276,943 views
Videos created: 244
Brands worked with: Timberland, Adidas, sponsored features from Karmaloop, Finish Line
Up next: “Working with Machus to debut and launch the Kanye x Adidas collaborative YZY SZN 1 clothing and sneakers. We’re trying to figure out a way to give people the best experience possible when handling the product for the first time.”
Why sneakers: “Sneakers are so universal. Two people who have different styles can still love the same shoe and wear it totally differently.”

YouTube Star Jacob Keller Jacob Keller. Courtesy of Jacob Keller.

Michael Lytle
Channel: Mr Foamer Simpson
Subscribers: 125,674
Total views: 11.5 million
Social audience: 22K (Twitter); 70.9K (Instagram)
Content style: Sneaker reviews and hauls (videos of merchandise they’ve collected)
Most-watched video: “Nike Kobe 9 Elite Performance Review”; 257,743 views

Youtube Star Mr Foamer Simpson Michael Lytle. YouTube.

Bethany Mota
Channel: Bethany Mota
Subscribers: 9.3 million
Total views: 765 million
Social audience: 2.67M (Twitter); 5M (Instagram)
Content style: Beauty and fashion, hauls, DIY
Most-watched video: “Morning Routine: Fall Edition!”; 11.8M views
Videos created: 420
Brands worked with: JCPenney, Forever 21, Aeropostale

YouTube Star Bethany Mota Bethany Mota.

Fran Marchello
Channel: Franalations
Subscribers: 43,483
Total views: 10.1 million
Social audience: 11.4K (Twitter); 33.8K (Instagram)
Content style: Sneaker reviews and hauls
Most-watched video: “Franalations23 Nike Air Mag On Feet”; 233,441 views
Videos created: 768

Youtube Star Franalations Fran Marchello. Instagram.

Michelle Phan
Channel: Michelle Phan
Subscribers: 7.9 million
Total views: 1.1 billion
Social audience: 669K (Twitter); 2M (Instagram)
Content style: Makeup tutorials, DIY
Most-watched video: “Barbie Transformation Tutorial”; 62M views
Videos created: 372
Brands worked with: Lancôme, L’Oreal

YouTube Star Michelle Phan Michelle Phan. Getty Images.

Hannah Hart
Channel: MyHarto
Subscribers: 2.2 million
Total views: 190 million
Social audience: 881K (Twitter); 986K (Instagram)
Content style: Cooking, comedy, how-tos
Most watched video: “My Drunk Kitchen, Ep. 1: Butter Yo Shit”; 3.8 million views
Videos created: 400
Brands worked with: Sanuk, Coca-Cola
Sanuk on working with Hart: Ethan Anderson, VP of global marketing, said, “Hannah is primarily known as a YouTuber, and she’s able to leverage that fame into a major social following on other platforms. It builds that more holistic strategy where it’s not a one-and-done kind of thing.”

YouTube Star Hannah Hart Hannah Hart. Getty Images.

Ryan Higa
Channel: NigaHiga
Subscribers: 15.1 million
Total views: 2.3 billion
Social audience: 1.7M (Twitter); 1.6M (Instagram)
Content style: Comedy, sketches, music videos
Most-watched video: “Nice Guys”; 60.6M views
Videos created: 245
Brands worked with: Carl’s Jr, Universal Pictures’ “Despicable Me,” 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”

YouTube Star Ryan Higa Ryan Higa. YouTube.

Felix Kjellberg
Channel: PewDiePie
Subscribers: 39 million
Total views: 10 billion
Social audience: 6.48M (Twitter); 5.5M (Instagram)
Content style: Videogaming
Most-watched video: “A Funny Montage”; 68.7M views
Videos created: 2,482

YouTube Star PewDiePie Felix Kjellberg. Getty Images.

* Follower numbers recorded at press time last week.