By Ryan Velez
People may think singer when they first think of Rihanna, even though she has made a few splashes as an actor as well. However, what may be an even bigger prolonged moneymaker for her is her foray into the world of beauty, Fenty Beauty. It made a huge splash when it first went to social media, and now Black Enterprise reports that it has managed to generate a whopping $72 million in earned media value in September, alone.
The exact nature of earned media value may be a bit confusing, but Black Enterprise explains how it translates into proper money, and why these statistics mean great news for Rihanna and her business. This is a metric of publicity that a company or brand gains outside of traditional promotional efforts like paid advertising. Measures of this metric come from the number of social endorsements and the level of engagement received on social media and other digital platforms. Other companies that have high levels of earned media value include Disney, which gained over $14 million in EMV; Forever 21, which generated more than $12 million; and H&M with over $7 million.
WWD reports that Fenty’s EMV outpaced the earnings of other major beauty brands, including Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, Urban Decay, and NYX. MAC and Too Faced are the only two cosmetic lines that exceeded Fenty Beauty’s EMV metrics for the month of September. This isn’t bad considering the relative infancy of Rihanna’s brand, and in many ways, she has her previous fame and success to credit for it. With a baked-in social-media presence, Fenty Beauty already has built-in platforms and audience to target, directly and indirectly. On top of this, YouTube also announced that Fenty Beauty received an impressive 132 million views in its first month, numbers that any brand would be more than happy to get.
In 2016, Rihanna signed a $10 million deal with the Kendo division of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton to roll out Fenty Beauty. The first installment included 40 shades of foundation, many of them specifically created for women of color with darker skin tone. This rolled out on Sept. 8 online and in stores in over 150 countries. Fenty Beauty also released a holiday collection that is expected to do well. In 2014, Forbes reported that the 29-year old had a net worth of $75 million.