- YouTube creators are working with agents and managers to expand their online brands.
- Firms and agencies now represent influencers across a variety of verticals, from gaming to ASMR.
- Here are 22 managers and agents helping YouTubers build their careers.
If early business transactions in the digital space were focused on sponsored content and product launches with existing companies, today, top YouTube stars want to build their own ventures from the ground up.
Helping facilitate this shift — in addition to assisting with the other demands of being a digital star —are managers and agents, who are among the most important figures in a creator’s career.
Though the lines between the two roles continue to blur, agents are traditionally more deal-focused, representing larger swaths of creators, while managers are more holistically attuned to YouTubers’ day-to-day careers.
It’s somewhat fitting, then, that some of the managers who have risen to become the best in the business started out as close friends or even family members of early clients — like Rare Global founder Ashley Villa, whose sister is the YouTuber Stephanie “Soothing Sista” Villa, or Matt Philips, who founded what would become Human Media Group with his middle school best friend-turned-YouTube phenom Charlie “Cr1TiKaL” White.
But being a manager or agent is more than just being a friend; they help their clients organize their days, make money, and choose which business opportunities to pursue.
“Everyday is different,” Christina Jones, senior vice president at Digital Brand Architects, told Insider about the role. “In the past two years, the bigger conversations have been around what we can do that’s outside of the norm. A lot of my meetings and calls with talent, and on behalf of talent, are around bigger projects.”
These projects are both online and off, as influencers have grown their businesses to include speaking engagements, products, or roles in traditional film and television series. Some top YouTube stars also want to build their own IP.
Jones, for instance, helped her client, beauty influencer Patrick Starrr, launch his cosmetics company One/Size, which is now sold at Sephora. Meanwhile Zack Honarvar assisted creator Airrack in launching his online film school Creator Now, and Matter Media Group’s Evegail Andal helped YouTubers Alisha Marie and Ashley Nicole build Parallel Apparel.
As the space continues to grow, so do the options for different types and styles of management. While some management firms and agencies are establishing broad client rosters, others are more focused. Clique Now, for instance, predominantly represents Asian American talent, while Shannae Ingleton leads Kensington Grey’s diverse network of Black creators.
Legacy agencies like CAA, WME, and UTA, are representing more digital stars then ever before and helping their clients branch out into new media verticals, from book deals to television roles. In recent years, former Hollywood agents have also left these top firms to launch their own boutique companies.
With our third annual power list, Insider is recognizing the 22 leading managers and agents who represent YouTube creators. Culled from our own reporting and nominations from industry experts, listees were chosen based on both their longevity in the space and their greater impact in moving the influencer industry forward.
The 22 managers and agents are listed below in alphabetical order: