Ads are everywhere. Youtube, apps, TV you name it. But if you are anything like me, you have gotten used to their lame attempts to grab our attention and have become masters at hitting that small little “X” at the corner of any ad. Life will continue this way until people start thinking like Content BLVD. In short, Content BLVD is making it simple for companies to get their ads on Youtube by creating a marketplace for Youtubers to choose who and how they advertise. This also means that they aren’t just giving the same ad space to the same deep-pocketed companies, but are giving it to people who actually deserve it. CEO Dan Ripoll takes us through his company that is changing how deals get done.
Tell us about the product or service.
Our tagline is “Products, meet YouTube.” We make it dead simple for companies to get their products into YouTube videos. Our marketplace facilitates quick and easy connections between product companies and the YouTubers who reach their target audience.
How is it different?
Content BLVD is different from other influencer marketing platforms in three important ways.
1. We facilitate unpaid earned media placements, not paid sponsorships.
2. Our cost structure makes it possible for much smaller companies to gain the kind of exposure that, previously, only big brands could afford.
3. While competitors act more like agencies that serve relatively few companies and relatively few YouTube channels, our large and growing marketplace helps thousands more YouTubers work with brands, which are otherwise shut out.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
We’re targeting small to mid-sized consumer product companies and their PR firms that want to reach the millennial market, but who lack the resources to scale their product marketing efforts in cost-effective ways.
Using Amazon as a proxy for the size of the product company market, there are some 800 million products sold across Amazon’s 17 websites. And YouTube has more than 1 billion users, several hundred thousand active channels.
What is the business model?
Currently, we take a small $20 transaction fee for every match made between a product company and a YouTuber. While competitors charge much more for paid sponsorship deals and premium services, this model helps us to increase our overall transaction volume and rapidly grow market share. We are actively experimenting with different pricing models and services.
What inspired the business?
No one likes being interrupted by ads. They’re a pain. And they don’t even work anymore. As attention to ads plummets, brands want to get their products inside the content their target consumers already enjoy. But current solutions are too time-consuming or too expensive for most brands to afford.
We believe a world in which marketing actually adds to the consumer experience, rather than interrupting it. We believe in a world in which the best products, not the biggest ad budgets win. And, we believe in creating a level playing field, so that those smaller companies and smaller YouTube channels that have a ton of value to give have a chance to thrive, too.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
The success of a platform is best measured by the volume of interactions happening between users. In our case, brands and YouTubers.
We are currently producing more than 1,000 videos per month for our brand clients. We think this makes Content BLVD the market leader in terms of number of transactions happening on the platform. Within 6 months, we plan to extend this lead, increasing transaction volume to more than 5,000 videos per month.
Other milestones include:
- growing reach from 120M (today) to more than 500M
- increasing the number of YouTube channels from 4,000 (today) to more than 15,000.
- increasing the number of brands from 1500 to 5,000
- adding new social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the community who would it be and why?
I’m a huge fan of Mark Suster. I would love to sit down with him and discuss the state of the media landscape and our strategy for global domination ;-).
What does being “Made in LA” mean to you and your company?
Content BLVD was founded in Los Angeles, by native Angelinos’. We’re born from media and LA is at the center of it all, including YouTube.
And because LA is a media town, it’s the perfect place to start a media/entertainment company. It’s also a chance to show the world that LA can produce large scale, successful growth companies just like Silicon Valley.
The media landscape is changing rapidly. LA will become the birthplace for many of the new startups that will have a hand in shaping the new media landscape.
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in Los Angeles?
- One of the key ingredients for promoting entrepreneurship in LA is access to technical talent. Lack of access to engineers is a key blocker for many would be entrepreneurs.
- Startup hubs such as Galvanize offer members office suites, floating desks, a coding academy and a suite of additional resources which amount to a mini startup ecosystem. This started in Denver Colorado and is spreading around the world. LA could use something like this to promote entrepreneurship.
Where is the best place to watch the sun set in Los Angeles?
Runyon Canyon or any of the beaches.