Google acquires FameBit to connect YouTube creators with marketers

Google just announced that it has acquired FameBit, a marketplace that connects video creators with marketers who want to sponsor their content.

This could be an important step for Google’s YouTube, where monetization has been a big concern — not just for YouTube as a whole, but also for individual creators. YouTube has been working to provide more support on this front through its partner program, but we’ve also seen the growth of multi-channel networks that creators join up with for ad sales and business resources.

By acquiring FameBit, YouTube might look like it’s getting more competitive with those MCNs, but in a blog post, YouTube’s Ariel Bardin said that’s not the case:

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 doesn’t change that. Our hope is that FameBit’s democratized marketplace will allow creators of all sizes to directly connect with brands, as well as provide a great technology solution for companies like MCNs and agencies to find matches for their creators and brand partners.

FameBit was backed by Los Angeles startup studio Science, Inc. When I spoke to FameBit CEO David Kierzkowski last year, he said the marketplace is focused on “long- and mid-tail creators,” not just the big YouTube stars who get most of the attention from MCNs.

In today’s announcement, Kierzkowski and his co-founder Agnes Kozera said the platform has been used to 25,000 branded videos, and that FameBit will run as “a standalone operation” for now. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.