Google announced on Tuesday that it has acquired FameBit, with plans to leverage its technology platform to help YouTube creators better connect with brands. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“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,” said Google vice president of product management Ariel Bardin in a blog post.
FameBit started out as a service that let creators network with brands in order to strike up sponsorship or partnership deals. “Our main goal is to mainstream YouTube marketing, to make it a part of every brand’s monthly social media advertising strategy,” said cofounder and chief operating officer Agnes Kozera in 2014. “I believe that we will achieve this by keeping the smaller brands in mind, making it easy and affordable for everyone to get endorsed by YouTubers.”
Google reports that FameBit will “continue to work just like it has and will remain a standalone operation for now.” In addition, it hopes that the inclusion of a democratized marketplace will not only help creators monetize their work, but also give multi-channel networks and agencies the abilities to find the right influencers to help spread their message.
In their own blog post today, FameBit cofounders Kozera and David Kierzkowski remarked, “With Google’s relationship with brands large and small, and YouTube’s 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.”
With the battle for creators’ attention and content, YouTube needs to shore up its offering to prove why it’s still the de facto place for videos instead of leaving an opportunity for them to migrate to Facebook or Twitter. To date, FameBit said it’s trusted by 11,330 brands and 45,595 creators.
Prior to its acquisition, FameBit raised $1.5 million in venture funding — $1.4 million came in July 2014 — from 500 Startups, DeNA, Science, Third Wave Digital, HIGHLINEvc, and Allen DeBevoise. Eventually, Science became the majority shareholder in FameBit.