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Behind the scenes of VTuber
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VTubers: New potential influencers for digital marketing

What is vTuber (Virtual YouTuber)

VTuber, or full-term “Virtual YouTuber”, is a video creator who creates content through streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch. What makes VTuber different from normal streamers or youtuber is that they use a virtual avatar instead of using their real appearance to show on the screen. Many of them create their own story for their character or avatar to be more unique and interesting. The trend of VTuber started in Japan in 2016 with the debut of a girl VTuber named “Kizuna AI”. After that, the popularity of VTubers spread on a global level in recent years.

First VTuber in Japan “Kizuna AI”

What is the difference between vTuber and AI influencer

AI influencers and VTubers might seem similar since the outcome is not having real people showing on the screen. However, they also have an obvious difference point that could separate them from each other. That different point is the way they are operated. AI Influencer is the artificial intelligence that is controlled by the computer and machine learning. On the other hand, VTuber is controlled by a real human.

The rise of popularity after COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic along with quarantine period is the key. The amount of people spending time online and watching content on streaming platforms tends to increase. VTuber, which is one of the online video creators, also gets a chance to receive more audience and be more well known. In mid-2021, there has been an increase of around 3,050,000 subscribers within just a year and a half for the top 3 Virtual YouTubers in the world.

The world ranking of VTubers in terms of number of YouTube channel subscribers in the year 2019 compared to the year 2021

Impact on digital marketing

According to their popularity, VTuber became another potential choice of influencer marketing for the marketer. Since VTuber’s income is dependent on the donation from the audience or the subscribers. So, they will try very hard to build a high loyalty between them and their fans. With a very strong relationship, their fans will do their best to support their favorite VTuber. One common support is to buy the product that sponsored brand or the VTuber is a presenter. Even some fans do not have a lot of purchasing power, they will show their support through engagement in social media such as like, comment, share, or increase the views. Therefore, investing with the VTubers that have fans matched with the brand’s target group will effectively help the brand both increase engagement and create high sales from this target group.

Collaboration of cosmetic brand “JILL STUART” and VTuber group “NISANJI”


Yick, V. (2023, November 10). New Genre of Digital Marketing with Virtual YouTubers. 

An, Y. (2023, August 8). The Rise of VTubers 2023: Virtual Creators in the Streaming Space. 

Suzuki Ranking News. (2023, July 25). 世界VTuberチャンネル登録数ランキング 2018-2023【バーチャルユーチューバー】. 

Goat. (2023, December 21). WHAT ARE AI INFLUENCERS? AND SHOULD YOUR BRAND CARE?.,by%20computers%20and%20machine%20learning

NAK, S. (2022, August 10). JILL STUART Beauty x NIJISANJI! Japanese VTuber and cosmetic brand collaborate. 

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