EXCLUSIVE: TVN has partnered with global YouTube influencer network Fullscreen, a move that could prove a “hell of a threat” to traditional television down the track.
The partnership will allow Australian brands to demographically target viewers across Fullscreen’s 5,000 strong YouTube channels that attracts more than 1.5 million Australian views per month, according to ComScore.
California-based Fullscreen was launched in 2011 by former Google executive and co-creator of YouTube’s Partnership Program, George Strompolos.
Peter Ostick (pictured), managing director of internet TV network TVN, said the partnership would allow local advertisers to integrate their products into the content of key YouTube influencers.
The partnership, which launches officially next week, could pose a threat to television network’s ad dollars, asserted Ostick.
“If you can create content for cheaper and reach the same audience that is a hell of a threat,” Ostick told B&T.
The challenge facing the business now is convincing brands that the average Joe Blow with a large following can be just as aspirational as sports stars and celebrities.
“The guys in these communities creating content have a massive following as well, it is just a different language that they speak in,” Ostick said.
“It will take a couple of years for brands to get their heads around it and the biggest challenge will be educating brands.
“They are used to buying spots in traditional TV programs – because that is what they watch – but for the next generation coming through they are watching less TV and spending more time digitally.
“You only need to look at the new CEO of Channel Ten who has been out in the press saying the same thing.”
Advertisers need to come to grips with talking in a language that audiences understand, according to Ostik who said the rise of social communication is challenging the 30-second spot.
“If you are not integrated into these influencers and you are not finding the voices of these influencers – that could create problems for the future.”
Top local influencers are found in the beauty and fashion categories while overseas music is key source.
Fullscreen has segmented their audience and their most popular verticals are music and dance, lifestyle, mobile technology and gaming.
Ostik said the network would be made up of roughly 30% local talent with the remaining 70% coming from overseas. But he said this matched Australian’s online viewing habits.
Influencers in the network include local YouTube channel Lauren Beautyy [sic] which has more than 378,000 subscribers and has amassed over 17.9 million views.
Greg’s Kitchen is another featured channel which was 18,692 subscribers with more than 2.45 million views.
International influencers include Teddie Films with 66,389 subscribers and 18.5 million views.
James Veraldi, senior vice president of business development and strategy at Fullscreen, said: “As a global network of creators and influencers, Fullscreen is constantly looking to extend our innovative advertising solutions to better serve brands and marketers in every country.”
“TVN has proven to be the strongest video ad seller in Australia and key surrounding territories, and we look forward to partnering with them to connect local businesses with our highly engaged audience on YouTube.”
Fullscreen invites the stars of popular YouTube channels to film their content in professional studios and pays them to integrate advertisers into their videos.