Whenever I need help with contract reviews or have questions on legal advice regarding YouTube, I call Jonathan Katz. He is one of the top YouTube lawyers in the industry. (And yes, that really is a profession.)

In this industry, Jonathan Katz sees brand deals coming across his desk all the time. And on this podcast, he shares his perspective on how the state of brand deals on YouTube has evolved over the past 5 years to what they look like now for us today.

He has noticed a few significant changes.

The number of brands and kind of companies that have entered the brand deal making space has massively increased.

5 years ago, it was really just the toy and beauty industry that were making brand deals, but today there are brand deals available for literally everything. And the toy and beauty industry are now not even the biggest spenders.

There is a massive influx of cheap deals.

5 years ago, It was easier for a brand to blow their whole budget on a few huge creators than to manage tons of small deals with smaller creators.

But today, there are way more brand influencer managers who do this and have tools available to find these brands. And with the rise of TikTok, there are tons of 30 second product endorsements available. This also allows companies of any scale to jump into this space. So that means that being smaller doesn’t exclude you from brand deals anymore. Especially, if you have a niche that fits very well with their target audience.

So many companies that would have never considered brand deals are now interested in dropping $1,000 on a 30 second TikTok. But Jonathan is very skeptical that they’ll last, since he sees the conversation rates of getting sales to be very low.

Also, something to notes is that some brands do not work with creators that have managers. Working with a manager means that there will be a lot more back and forth and that costs the brand more time and resources than working directly with the creator. There are pros to talent managers as well, but that’s definitely something to consider.

Creators are talking a lot more about the opportunity cost of brand deals because it’s so easy to monetize their following.

Audiences are now pretty used to hearing brand deals in the middle of content. But it depends on the type of video you’re doing. If you’re a gamer or a mom vlogger who is constantly recommending things, a brand deal is totally normal and expected. But if you are doing an instructional video and you stop in the middle of your video to do a sponsored spot on something mildly unrelated, it’s not going to be well received.

Power Tip

The #1 conflict in brand deals is around revisions and reshoots. So, be proactive by sharing your ideas of exactly what you are going to do for your video. Also, put in your contract that there are no reshoots as long as you have met the specific goals that you agreed upon. This will save you from a lot of hassle down the road.

Do you have any comments, reactions, questions, or just want to say hi? Leave a for us and we may use it in an upcoming podcast episode. Until then…

Keep Changing Lives,

Tim Schmoyer