The Trust in YouTube Reviews: The Impact of Sponsorship on the Trust Relationship Between YouTubers and Their Viewer

Constantin Hubertus Beindorff

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis is conducted to explore the impact of sponsorship on the trust relationship between YouTubers and viewers. YouTube.com is one of the most viewed websites in the world and used to share videos. A section of these videos is product reviews, which influence consumers in their purchase decision process. Therefore, it is essential to understand the relationship between these two actors and what impact a company has when entering the relation. An extensive analysis of the existing literature provides the foundation for the conducted research. At first, YouTube is investigated to understand the platform and the actors on it, called YouTubers. Further, literature concerning reviews is undertaken to understand the motives of consumers. The study focuses specifically on consumer electronics to understand an understudied branch and to sharpen the focus of the study. The concept of trust is analysed to understand the roots of trusting someone. Finally, literature concerning sponsorship is investigated to recognise existing impacts. A content analysis of 30 YouTube reviews was conducted followed by an analysis of the conducted survey. After exploiting the dataset of 137 participants, the results revealed that the personal component becomes more critical when a review on YouTube is sponsored. Hence, YouTuber and companies should encourage the interaction with the viewer and provide the structure to establish a closer relationship between the YouTuber and the viewer.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages77
SupervisorsAnna-Bertha Heeris Christensen