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May 17, 2023
min read
Noam Yadin

Why fill rates and renewal rates are critical for YouTube sponsorships

Have you heard of fulfillment rate? Why is it critical for both creators and brands to check out their renewal rate? How can these metrics help you as a creator turn your channel into a business? Why should brands know a channels fill rate and renewal rate before deciding whether or not to close a deal with a YouTuber? 

So, you’ve decided to step up your YouTube sponsorship strategy - here’s what you need to know about the fulfillment rate metric and the renewal rate metric.

What is fill rate?

The fulfillment rate is the percentage of videos on a channel that were sponsored out of the total number of videos on a channel. 

Fill rate example

This metric gives both creators and brands a clearer idea of how appealing it is to sponsor a specific channel. If a YouTuber has an attractive fill rate, it means that a number of videos have been sponsored - brands are lining up to sign a deal with this channel.  

For example, Gabbyreads - a YouTuber who publishes book-related videos, has a fulfillment rate of 42.5%. To put this in context, this creator posts approximately 3 videos a week and, according to our data, between 4-6 of her videos in a month are sponsored. In 2023 alone she was sponsored by 8 different brands, including Book of the Month, HelloFresh, Skillshare, Scentbird, and Magic Mind

While the fulfillment rate gives a general idea about how appealing it is to sponsor a specific channel, it doesn’t highlight whether a brand saw success and wanted to return to this creator. That’s where the renewal rate comes in - the percentage of brand sponsors who renewed at least once. In other words, the percentage of brands that have sponsored a specific channel more than once. 

Renewal rate example

In order to get a more accurate picture of how many brands returned to sponsor a specific channel, ThoughtLeaders’ renewal rate calculation divides the channels videos into 10 week periods and if the brand appears in more than one 10 week period, it counts as a renewal. Consider this: If a brand sponsors back to back videos in a specific channel, that is simply a large upfront booking. But, with our renewal rate calculation, we are looking at brands that have renewed their sponsorship deals after seeing what returns that creator has generated for them. 

For example, foodie YouTuber, Adam Ragusea, has a fulfillment rate of 91% and a renewal rate of 34%, which means that one brand out of three that work with this YouTuber signs another deal. This is extremely impressive as it shows that this channel has numerous sponsorships and a large number of the sponsored brands return for more. Over the last year, a large variety of brands have sponsored Adam Ragusea’s channel, including Trade Coffee, Helix Sleep, Magic Spoon, Ritual, and MeUndies. Trade Coffee specifically sponsored this channel 18 times and racked up over 6M views. 

However, although having a 90% fill rate seems like the ultimate goal for creators and the percentage brands should hop on immediately, there is something important to consider - oversaturation. At the end of the day, viewers want to watch their favorite content creators and brands want to make an appearance when these viewers are most attentive and interested. If a channel features sponsored content in every single video, it may cause viewers to deter from this content and channel - causing both the creator and brand to lose revenue. So - both brands and YouTubers need to find the sweet spot, which can mean a number of different things:

  • Creators: YouTubers may want to decide ahead of time how many videos throughout the month will include sponsorships, while keeping in mind that they still want to reach an attractive fulfillment and renewal rate. 
  • Brands: When planning sponsorships ahead of time, brands may want to book channels that have less than a 75% fulfillment rate because then they know that there will still be placement available for those channels and that YouTuber’s content isn’t oversaturated with ads. 

Let’s take a look at a use case in order to better understand how these metrics work 

Use case: David Pakman Show

David Pakman Show is a news-focused channel with 1.7M subscribers that uploads 7 videos a day. Over the last 30 days, David Pakman Show uploaded 234 videos and received over 31M views. When it comes to YouTube sponsorships, David Pakman Show has been sponsored 679 times over the last year by a number of different brands, including CuriosityStream, Magic Spoon, Helix Sleep, Skillshare, BetterHelp, and Athletic Greens. In 2023 alone, the latter sponsored this channel 32 times. 

However, take a look at David Pakman Show’s sponsorship metrics

David Pakman Show YouTube sponsorship metrics

David Pakman Show’s sponsorship score is obviously very high because, as mentioned above, 679 pieces of content on this channel have been sponsored over the last year. 

However, it’s fill rate and renewal rate are both seemingly low. Why? Due to the fact that this channel uploads 7 videos a day, every single day - it has a lot of inventory for brands. But, in order to not oversature the channel with brand sponsorship, David Pakman Show doesn’t include a brand deal in every piece of content - lowering the fulfillment rate. Also, although David Pakman Show is sponsored by a wide variety of brands and continues to work with these brands on a regular basis, the renewal rate seems low due to the overwhelming amount of content available. This doesn’t in turn mean that David Pakman Show isn’t a great channel to sponsor

Why are these metrics important for creators?

If you are a content creator who wants to turn their channel into a revenue-making business, you have to pay attention to your content's fill rate and renewal rate. Why? Well, YouTube sponsorships are a sure way to make money as a content creator. Unlike AdSense which is entirely dependent on how many views your videos will receive (in other words, you don’t really know how much money you will make), the transaction from brand deals are decided upon, and written up via a contract, ahead of time. 

So as a YouTuber, you want to think of your content as inventory that can be sold for ad space. By paying close attention to your channel's fill rate, you can get a better understanding of how much inventory is available. However, it’s also important to keep the opposite in mind - you don’t want every single video on your channel to include a sponsorship (your viewers won’t love that). You want to find a happy middle - just enough brand deals to keep your business going and share with your viewers helpful products. 

Why are these metrics important for brands?

What more could a brand want than having access to metrics that others don’t have? Both the fulfillment rate and renewal rates, along with the other data available on the creator pages, can give brands great insight into channels performance and may even lead the brand to find channels they didn’t consider beforehand. 

Here’s a look at all the metrics:

YouTube sponsorship metrics

When creators and brands negotiate sponsorship deals, both sides focus mostly on number of subscribers, average views, and ultimately, CPM. But, by adding the fulfillment rate and renewal rates into the mix, both brands and YouTubers can add another tool into the negotiation process. For example, a channel may have less subscribers, but if they have an attractive renewal rate, obviously the brands that have sponsored this channel in the past are seeing positive results. 

If you’d like to get more information about our creator pages, don’t hesitate to reach out. And, if you’d like to give our platform a try for free, just sign up here!

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