Google is helping creators earn a living from more than just video ads.
The tech giant, which owns video network YouTube, announced Tuesday that it had acquired FameBit, a self-service technology platform to connect creators and advertisers for product placements, paid promotions and sponsorships.
FameBit is Google’s first influencer network.
The acquisition provides Google with a network and technology to service brands and creators, a move the company said in a blog post would bring “even more revenue into the online video community.”
Founded in 2013, the Santa Monica-based startup has created more than 25,000 branded videos across Facebook and Tumblr which it introduced in December 2015 in addition to Instagram, Twitter, Vine and YouTube. Its brands include Adidas, Canon, L’Oreal, Sony, Marvel and Disney.
FameBit will remain as a standalone company and not undergo any restructuring, for now. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“With Googles relationship with brands large and small, and YouTubes partnership with creators around the globe, we hope to connect even more brands to creators, engage more audiences, and make brand marketing more creative and authentic than ever,” FameBit founders David Kierzkowski and Agnes Kozera wrote in their blog announcement.
Pre-roll video ads aren’t dead. Google noted that the top 100 advertisers have increased their spend on YouTube video ads by 50 percent over the last year.
Yet, the company is interested in gaining more oversight and providing more value to its service at a time when multichannel networks are getting more competitive and Facebook is luring at times with cash the top creators. Indeed, it recently updated its terms of service for creators to further disclose paid promotions.
YouTube’s partner program already allows select creators to earn revenue from ads, subscriptions and merchandise. FameBit connects YouTube creators to other revenue-making opportunities.
FameBit influencers can be paid either via gifted products or in cash. Co-founder Agnes Kozera told USA Today in December that its influencers were making from $2,000 to $30,000 per month, on average.
The deal is similar to how Twitter acquired New York-based Niche last year for connecting advertisers and creators.
It doesn’t mean YouTube creators are limited to working with FameBit.
“Creators will always have the choice in how they work with brands, and there are many great companies who provide this service today. This acquisition doesnt change that,” Google’s blog post reads. “Our hope is that FameBits democratized marketplace will allow creators of all sizes to directly connect with brands.”
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