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YouTube ads startup FameBit buys Refame; expands brands’ access to digital stars

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MUMBAI: With the advent of YouTube stars, gone are the days when brands were only obsessed with having television, film or sports celebrities as brand ambassadors to endorse their products. In today’s all pervasive digital ecosystem, anyone with enough chutzpah can catapult to fame, amass a cult following, become an instant star… and a money churning one at that. And brands nowadays are more than willing to work with these millennial influencers for branded content and endorsements.

In a scenario like this, digital stars across platforms like YouTube, Vine etc, who offer unique and differentiated content to a host of followers on the world wide web, have caught the fancy of many a specialised companies. And they’ve left no stones unturned in milking these cash cows.

Armed with a vision to expand its offerings, FameBit, a marketplace which connects brands to YouTubers for branded content and endorsements, has now acquired the video marketing agency Refame.

Specializing in super-short-form videos, Refame creates branded videos starring Vine, Snapchat and Instagram personalities. Last year, the company pulled together a roster of social influencers who reach 40 million people across their channels and profile pages.

FameBit, which is on track to reach a billion subscribers by the end of 2015, will now add Reframe’s roster of creators to its platform. The acquisition also means that FameBit now has access to more digital platforms in the social video marketing business apart from YouTube.

FameBit’s platform boasts of more than 10,000 creators across YouTube, Vine, Snapchat and Instagram, collectively reaching more than 450 million subscribers. According to the company, YouTubers have submitted more than 100,000 proposals to brands for product integrations through FameBit till date. In July last year, the company helped brands create more than 1,000 videos and paid out more than $500,000 to creators by October.

“This is a defining moment for FameBit. We see Refame as a natural addition to the long-form content our influencers are currently creating and we are excited to incorporate it into our platform. By expanding our reach to content marketers on Snapchat, Vine and Instagram, we’re giving brands the opportunity to speak to audiences across other creative platforms in ways that are most impactful and appropriate for each one of those platforms,” said FameBit co-founder and CEO David Kierzkowski.

With the kind of fan following digital stars enjoy, brands now know how valuable they can be as content creators and endorsers. FameBit has already connected YouTube creators with brands like L’Oreal, Adidas, JustFab, Hint and Dollar Shave Club. It’s just a matter of time before more and more brands hop on to the digital stars’ bandwagon in order to pull in and connect to its customers.

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