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When Disney acquired Maker Studios for nearly $1 billion in cash and earnouts in March 2014, it marked an important point in the evolution of television. It confirmed what Om Malik proclaimed in 2011, “The gatekeepers of attention have been disrupted.” Distribution is no longer solely in the hands of large media conglomerates, and anyone with a camera and an internet connection can find a massive audience now. Take for example YouTubers like video game commentator PewDiePie, and style and beauty blogger Bethany Mota, who have amassed over 33 million subscribers alone. We are in, and have been in for years now, a world where anyone can become a celebrity almost overnight.
Enter Maker Studios, Fullscreen, and others that have essentially become the talent agencies for mega-YouTubers. With viewership that could rival that of Late Night with Conan O’Brian, it only makes sense that these YouTube stars would have professional management of their own.
However, not every YouTuber has millions of viewers, of course. There are plenty that have hundreds of thousands. These numbers are nothing to scoff at, and as YouTube’s global Head of Entertainment Alex Carloss once noted,these are not just audiences, these are much more powerful. These are fanbases.
“An audience tunes in when they are told to, a fanbase chooses when and what to watch…”
“An audience changes the channel when the show is over, a fanbase shares, comments, curates, and creates.” —Alex Carloss, YouTube Head of Entertainment
While these agencies may cater to the needs of the top 1% of YouTubers, what happens to the 99%? There are thousands of YouTubers with their own highly engaged fanbases, who should be able to turn their channels into profit centers of their own.
Famebit is creating the very first marketplace to match marketers and YouTubers in the tail end of YouTube fanbases. Through their platform, it will be easier than ever for brands to find talented YouTubers for product reviews, hauls, campaigns, endorsements, and essentially anything else that a marketer could possibly request.
The platform is both easy and incredibly powerful. All a marketer needs to do is post a description of what they want along with their budget and YouTubers flock together with their bids. Most of these YouTubers have over 50,000 subscribers, and already have videos on their channel for you to browse through to get a good sense of exactly what you can expect.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect is the ability to reach specific audiences so effectively. Where else could I find YouTubers with a primarily female subscriber base ages 18 — 24 in Australia? If my company was launching a new eyeliner Down Under, I couldn’t ask for an easier way to reach my customers.
Video has proven to be an effective tool for selling products for decades. Before online video, in the age of linear television, commercials and infomercials were the paths to eyeballs and sales boosts. QVC, one of the most prominent television shopping networks, is the greatest example of the ability to build a retail business solely on top of video. Today, it brings in nearly $2 billion in revenue in just one quarter. Famebit takes this one step further into the age of internet television, with fanbases that are by definition highly engaged and thus easier to convert than television audiences. From a marketer’s standpoint, the benefits of this new medium are clear. Especially when you consider that if a purchase is just a click away, it could boost conversion even more.
With platforms such as Freelancer.com, Elance, and oDesk making online work marketplaces very much the norm, the concept of outsourcing projects online, rather than hiring an agency, is also a much easier transition than before. Still, while these sites were undoubtedly innovative for their times, we are at a point now where breaking away important verticals such as video, not only makes sense, but it is inevitable. Each service has it’s own unique requirements that are better served by a dedicated platform.