By Evan DeSimone
Since its launch in 2014, social marketing firm FameBit has made its name by connecting YouTube and social media personalities with marketers to collaborate on branded original content. Recently, backed by venture firm Science, the company announced its first foray into original content production with FilterFreeTV, a “uncensored digital talk show” aimed at millennials.
We talked with Mike Jones, CEO of Science, about FameBit, the online video space, and why now is the right time for anyone and everyone to be creating original content.
As an entrepreneur, what first drew you to the online video space?
I’ve been interested in online video for a while. What we’re seeing now is that online video allows the democratization of celebrity and the atomization of content. In the early days of television and video, you had three or four channels and a handful of huge celebrities. With the advent of online video, we have this opportunity to create and find an audience for a billion TV channels and a billion micro celebrities.
When did you first realize the need for a company like FameBit to help connect video creators with brands?
It’s no secret that YouTube stars are incredibly popular and there are now many of them who have millions of followers or more. FameBit is the first self-service platform that gives creators the ability to connect to brands directly on their own terms. On the flip side, it gives brands the ability to leverage tens of thousands of creators to get the right content.
Filter Free TV is a big departure from the kind of work FameBit has been doing. What prompted this latest move into original content?
FameBit already has this very deep understanding of millennials because they’re working with the type of creators that are resonating most heavily with young people. We’re seeing increasingly that mobile is a new platform for content delivery, so we wanted to take advantage of FameBit’s connection to that sort of talent and bring it into this new landscape.
How do you see Filter Free TV contributing to FameBit’s core business?
Filter Free is unique in that it’s an entirely mobile experience you watch the series within the App. We’re seeing that more and more nowadays where young people in particular are getting their content not from TV, but on an app, whether that app is Netflix or Comedy Central. Millennials are used to getting their programming a la carte, and so creating an app for this kind of content makes sense.
Was the talent for Filter Free drawn from the pool of creators FameBit worked with preeviously?
The talent was drawn from a number of creators with large followings. Togetherl they have a collected reach surpassing 1M subscribers. There were also additional auditions to help bring together a group of young people with extremely diverse and fresh perspectives on the issues that matter most to this audience.
Is there more original video content in your future?