Google Buys FameBit, Sees Branded Content as Essential to YouTube

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Google has purchased FameBit, a technology and marketing platform that helps brands link up with social media stars on YouTube and Twitter. This is part of a growing trend where Google and others realize that preroll video ads are not the future and that marketing integration into content is the smart way to reach millennial's and even younger audiences.

Ironically, that's how television started in the 1950's, where every show was brought to you by a product and often that product was integrated into the content.

"We believe that Google’s relationship with brands and YouTube’s partnerships with creators, combined with FameBit’s technology and expertise, will help increase the number of branded content opportunities available, bringing even more revenue into the online video community," noted Ariel Bardin, Vice President, Product Management at Google.

FameBit provides a modern version of this, telling marketers that it will grow your customer base via tutorials, comedic skits, mentions, routines, DIY videos, game plays, lookbooks, vlogs and hauls. What this means is that FameBit, and now YouTube, will connect your brand with YouTube stars and help popular YouTuber's make additional revenue in the process.

"Every year, more and more brands are making YouTube essential to their marketing strategy," said Bardin. "In fact, in the last year alone, the top 100 advertisers have increased their spend on YouTube video ads by 50 percent."

Google knows that even though brands have increased their marketing on YouTube, what they really want are deeper connections with YouTube stars and through extension their fans.

"As brands continue to embrace the value of YouTube, they’re also taking their investments one step further, partnering with creators on branded content opportunities such as product placements, promotions and sponsorships," he said. "As we look to the future, we want even more creators and brands to come together and realize the benefits of these creative collaborations."

Unlike Google search, YouTube video is not inherently a lead generation opportunity, but rather is more like TV, promoting brand recognition and brand favorability. Fortunately for Google, that's what Madison Avenue sells and Google wants to tap into more of their dollars.

According to eMarketer TV ad spending will be $72.01 billion in 2016 with digital ad spending just slightly under that. But with advertising in video formats from YouTube, Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter, etc..., digital ad spend will increase as a percentage. By 2020, it's predicted that digital ad revenue will be 37% higher than TV.


Of course, digital delivery of TV is also on the rise, replacing the cable middlemen and ultimately making digital the primary way to consume video content.

Rich Ord