Agencies and marketers looking for the perfect YouTube star to
appear in a viral video, your job just got easier.
At a keynote presentation at VidCon today, YouTube vice
president of product management, Shishir Mehrotra announced Video
Creation Marketplace, a platform that will connect content creators
on YouTube with marketers or agencies looking for viral buzz.
Since 2007, YouTube has partnered with producers on the video
site to share ad revenue, allowing people to create YouTube content
for a living. "We pay out millions of dollars to partners each
year," said Baljeet Singh, group product manager at YouTube.
"Thousands of channels are generating six figures a year."
The 'Dirty Dash'
The idea is to create a more formal revenue stream for the long
tail of YouTube creators. YouTube has been very focused on
launching and promoting its first 100 "Original Channels," but its
message to VidCon is to the YouTube stalwarts: We're here for you,
While advertising is a nice source of revenue for some, even the
most successful YouTube "stars" do brand work, but to date, this
has been happening on an ad hoc basis. Channels that have worked
with advertisers in the past include Howcast, which leveraged its
channel with a three-month General Electric takeover to kick off
the brand's "Healthymagination" campaign, and beauty vlogger Juicy
Star 07, who collaborated with L'Oreal for a campaign that asked
viewers to share their Voluminous mascara moments.
Today, YouTube's partner program has more than a million content
The marketplace platform will allow partners to set up profiles
indicating what they do, their past successes and the demographics
or types of brands they are best suited for. Advertisers or
agencies will be able to search by parameters, such as content
type, target demo and keywords, to find the right YouTube star for
their campaign. Then, they can negotiate separately. YouTube will
play no part in the negotiation stage.
YouTube will begin talking to partners about it today at VidCon,
and will launch the site and talk to marketers later this
The program will be particularly useful for small businesses
that don't always have the resources to create video ads, said Mr.
Singh. "The creativity coming out of YouTube rivals that coming out
of creative agencies any day of the week," he added. "And we
already know that their content performs really well on
For someone like Devin Graham, who has already been partnering
with small brands such as Dirty Dash, a 5K race, and Jet Lev, a
water jet-pack company, and makes a "healthy living" from those
partnerships, marketplace is a great idea. "It would make finding
the right brand a lot easier," said the video maker, who produces
under his Supertramp channel.
Although Mr. Graham began making the videos for brands for free
with his paycheck stemming from YouTube's ad revenue split, his
growing popularity allows him to charge brands who want him to make
videos. Among his upcoming paid projects is a web film for Intel,
set to release in the next couple of weeks. Mr. Graham is also in
talks with Red Bull, which he says is exactly the kind of brand
whose values align with the type of content he produces: slick,
high-energy, action and lifestyle work.
Shareen Pathak covers East Coast creative agencies, campaigns and the production side of the advertising industry for Advertising Age. She's a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism and has written for publications including The Wall Street Journal and The Straits Times Singapore.