Does the Pay Gap Exist on Instagram? Remuneration of Male vs Female Creators

Kate Karnaukhova

Kate is HypeAuditor social media manager and blog editor. For cooperation opportunities contact me on LinkedIn.

HypeAuditor has conducted a survey among 1600 influencers from over 40 countries to reveal how much they earn for different formats of advertising on Instagram and who – men or women – receive higher remuneration for the publications. Results of the survey are based on the information about influencers belonging to the 4 tiers:

  • Mega-influencers & Celebrities (over 1M followers);
  • Macro-influencers (100K – 1M followers);
  • Mid-tier influencers (20K-100K followers);
  • Micro influencers (5K-20K followers).

Among respondents, influencers with over 100K audience appeared to be the most numerous. Since the size of their accounts is big, such influencers often work with advertisers and get paid for publishing promotional content. Thus, they are capable of sharing the prices for different types of advertisement, in contrast to influencers with smaller audience who often work under a system of barter.

Overall, women account for 69% of the respondents of the survey and men – for 31%. According to HypeAuditor data, there are 50,5% of female creators in the world and 49,5% of creators are men, thus, we may state that there is an equal number of male and female creators on Instagram.

Thanks to the answers, HypeAuditor defined the average prices for four types of advertising formats:

  • a regular post;
  • a story;
  • one story and a post;
  • one post, one story and an Instagram video (up to 1 minute)

These results allowed us to get interesting insights about the revenues of Instagram influencers depending on their gender, however, the results cannot be extrapolated to all Instagram creators.

PRICE PER POST

As it turns out, an average price per a man’s Instagram post equals $1,411 and for women the figure is smaller – $1,315. Thus, men have 7% higher pay on average.

Going deeper in the analysis, we saw that male influencers of 100K-1M and 1M+ tiers receive higher remuneration than women. Male creators of these tiers (100K-1M+) receive on average $2,643, while female creators with an audience of same size get $2,420. The difference in payments is present but remains rather small in all tiers.

PRICE PER STORY

As for the price of one Story containing product promotion, the difference is also present with male creators getting paid $809 and women, in their turn, $633 on average. Thus, the men’s pay is 27% higher than women’s.

Closer look to tiers shows that only women with 5K-20K followers receive more for 1 promotional story: $28 versus mens’ $19 (47% higher pay in case of women). In other tiers, men get higher remuneration. 

The sharp difference is seen in the tiers 20K-100K and 1M+ which creates a gap in the average amount of remuneration. In 20K-100K tier men get $408 and women only $212 (men have 92% higher pay); in tier of 1M+ men receive $2,202 and women $1,693 which denotes 30% higher remuneration of male creators.

PRICE PER POST AND STORY

If we take a look at the post plus story format, we will see that the pay gap get wider: men receive on average $3,051 per this format and women – $2,040 (49,55% higher for men).

The biggest difference between men and women is in the tiers 1M+ where men receive $8,842 and women $5,915 (49%); and 100K-1M in which men get $2,920 and women – $1,909 (53%).

PRICE PER POST+STORY+VIDEO (not IGTV)

HypeAuditor also received data for the format one post + one story + one video (not IGTV) which demonstrate the sharp difference between the pay of women and men. On average for a single case of this type of promotion men receive $4,042 while women get $2,704 (49%). 

The difference is genuinely being most pronounced in favor of men in tier 1M+ where men get $9,090 and women $7,274 on average (25%). As well, in tier 20K-100K in which men get $1,122 and women only $499 (125%)! However, the most complex format is the one in which women have some priority, namely, female creators of 100K-1M tier get $2,545 and men $1,914 (33%).

IMPLICATIONS

Though many people believe that female creators are more numerous on Instagram, it is not true according to the HypeAuditor database. Therefore, it is difficult to agree with the opinion that male influencers are better paid because they are scarce.

Since remuneration for paid posts is not regulated, each creator sets his/her own desired payment and in the process of negotiation the final amount is defined. Higher competition among female creators cannot condition the reason of the pay gap since female and male creators are equal in number.

From the survey results we can see that women almost in all formats of paid promotion get lower remuneration than men. The only exceptions are the pay of female creators with 20K-100K audience for making a video on Instagram, female creators of 100K-1M tier in case of the most complex format (a post with a story and a short video) and women with 5K-20K followers in case of the promotion is Stories. Thus, the results confirm that an unjustified pay gap exists which brings up the need to reconsider the remuneration policy for female creators.

On HypeAuditor official Instagram page, you will find more insights into various researches conducted by the marketing team as well as advice on how to run a fraud free Instagram account.