Multi-channel networks like Machinima and Makers are taking care of the top 1 percent of pro YouTubers. But what about the rest of them who have honorable audiences but no support from these networks? Meet Octoly, a French startup that wants to create a marketplace for brands and the long tail of YouTubers.
Octoly started with beauty YouTubers in France. In just a few months, the company was able to monitor channels, identify the most promising beauty YouTubers and letting them know about the platform.
On the other side of the equation, the company works with beauty brands, such as L’Oréal’s Urban Decay, Sisley and Sigma Beauty. Once they have access to the platform, YouTubers can select them and reach out directly with marketing opportunities. In most cases, it consists in sending free samples in exchange for a review.
For now, Octoly stores and ships samples directly so that YouTubers can receive their products in a timely manner. Brands pay to access the platform. With this automated marketplace approach, Octoly can address a big segment of the popular YouTubers who don’t work with multi-channel networks. Octoly monitors 800,000 channels worldwide and a million videos every day in order to identify new YouTubers and track existing creating partners.
The startup considers that there are around 400 active beauty YouTubers in France with a significant audience. Out of the top 400, 200 of them work with Octoly.
While there are clear deontological limits, Octoly only provides free products — YouTubers don’t get paid to review a product. Everything isn’t perfect as these YouTubers often address a very young audience and don’t disclose these agreements with their viewers. But YouTube is still a young platform, and there is enough space for companies like Octoly. I would even say that there is a big business opportunity with today’s current landscape on YouTube.
What’s next for Octoly? The startup could expand its model to other verticals, such as video games, other social networks and other countries. In fact, the company is ready to launch in the U.S. next week with 30 beauty brands already on board. With this launch, it will also compete directly with its American competitor StyleHaul. But Octoly was able to iterate very quickly in France, there is no reason why it won’t do the same in the U.S.