Avatar Influencers are Storming Up the Earnings Charts — and Creators Stand to Make Some Healthy Profits

Virtual and AI personas have the highest earning potential for single Instagram posts…

Digital personas created via AI or software have had a surge in popularity on platforms such as Instagram — leading to significant earnings for their creators.

Influencer

Enterprise solutions provider SAP.com delved into the earnings potential of the top 60 “human replica” AI influencers — those designed to resemble humans, as opposed to animal or cartoon-based characters.

By analysing follower numbers and using an earnings calculator, the study estimated potential income for each sponsored post, shedding light on a financially rewarding realm of marketing.

Lu do Magalu is the AI influencer raking in the most from a sponsored Instagram post: £26,200.

@magazineluiza, featured on the cover of Vogue Brazil, was created as part of a promotion for iBlogTV by Magazine Luize in 2009 — and has posted to Instagram 80 times in the past 30 days. If monetised, her creators could have made up to £2.09m in a month.

Miquela Sousa ranks second among AI influencers, commanding £4,200 for each sponsored post. Known as @thalasya_ on the platform, she identifies as the “first Indonesian digital human character”.

Having last posted to her main feed 26 months ago, if her creators had maintained a schedule of one sponsored post per month, they could have amassed up to £109,200 by now. That sum equates to 20 years of earnings for the average Indonesian worker.

Leya Love comes in joint fourth and could earn an estimated £4,200 per post. A creation of Cosmiq Universe AG, @leyalovenature blends digital modelling with environmental advocacy. She’s even listed as a co-author in the book Life Values: When Dreams Become True, with fellow Cosmiq avatar Aya Stellar.

Love has posted seven times in the past month; had those posts been sponsored, she could have earned around £29,400. That’s how much the average UK worker makes working full-time for 10 months.

The Ten Top-earning Virtual Influencers

Rank | Influencer | Tag | Followers | Earnings per post
1. Lu do Magalu | @magazineluiza | 6,674,629 | £26,200
2. Miquela Sousa | @lilmiquela | 2,717,368 | £16,400
3. Alara X | @iamxalara | 509,238 | £4,600
=4. Thalasya Pov | @thalasya_ | 461,801 | £4,200
=4. Leya Love | @leyalovenature | 458,238 | £4,200
6. noonoouri | @noonoouri | 424,375 | £4,000
7. imma | @imma.gram | 395,432 | £3,800
=8. Shudu | @shudu.gram | 241,420 | £2,600
=8. Kyra | @kyraonig | 238,482 | £2,600
10. Bermuda | @bermudaisbae | 236,890 | £2,500

Noonoouri, in sixth place, could earn up to £4,000 per post. She is recognised for her chic style and advocacy for veganism and sustainability. It is estimated that she could earn up to £16,400 each time.

@lilmiquela’s creators, Trevor McFedries and Sara DeCou, don’t have to rely on sponsored posts — because their creation, Lil Miquela, has been a steady earner for their company, Brud, with collaborations involving BMW, Samsung, and Calvin Klein — which sees the digital influencer share a kiss with Bella Hadid.

Alara X places third and could earn up to £4,600 per post. The profile has posted 32 times in the past year. If monetised, the creators could have generated up to £147,200 since November 2022. That’s 32 percent more than the average salary of a principal software engineer at Microsoft.

IAMX Digital Human created @iamxalara as one of the first human-like digital avatars, with the aim of bringing it into the Metaverse via a “new era of interactive storytelling”.

Thalasya Pov ranks fourth in earning potential, and attracted more than 424,000 followers to her page @noonoouri. Noonoouri, created in 2018 as a Metaverse avatar, has been involved in lucrative endorsement deals with Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga — and was recently signed by Warner Music. Her debut single Dominoes has received more than 660,000 Spotify plays.

Imma ranks seventh, and garners potential earnings of £3,800. @imma.gram’s 395,000 followers receive a blend of contemporary fashion and art, making Imma a stand-out influencer. She’s worked with brands such as Porsche Japan, Ikea, and Puma.

Shudu and Kyra share the eighth position. Shudu, the self-proclaimed world’s first digital supermodel, has amassed more than 240,000 followers at @shudu.gram. That allows a charge of up to £2,600 per post, and Kyra, @kyraonig — the self-proclaimed first virtual influencer in India — has over 237,000 followers which justifies a charge of up to £2,600.

Bermuda rounds out the top 10 with potential earnings of £2,500. @bermudaisbae, created by designer Christian Guernelli, has amassed 236,000 followers and is known for edgy and provocative content.

A spokesperson from SAP said the study revealed the earning potential of AI-generated influencers. As they gain followers, they become “an increasingly important aspect of social media marketing that brands cannot overlook”.

Advances in AI image-generation are “democratising the field of influencer marketing”. Virtually anyone could create a digital avatar, the spokesperson said, “which opens up opportunities for brand collaborations that were once exclusive to traditional celebrities and early social media influencers”.


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