Why the Epic Rise of Influencers is Leading to Big Business

NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- It's no secret that video consumption has taken off in 2020. Daily online content consumption has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic, doubling on average from 3 hours 17 minutes to 6 hours 59 minutes. The growth of short-form video production and consumption has also caused a shift in the way advertisers do business, offering a lucrative opportunity for influencers of all sizes, the platforms they use and the companies that represent them. Alphabet's (NASDAQ: GOOG) YouTube has seen exponential audience interest growth, leading to a 32% increase in ad revenue. Microblogging network Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) has been building out its Twitter Live feature and recently launched Fleets, while Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP) introduced its new Spotlight feature to compete with TikTok. Even Microsoft Corp.'s (NASDAQ: MSFT) LinkedIn is getting in on the video marketing action. Then, there are media tech companies like BBTV Corp. (TSX: BBTV), that are focused on helping content creators of all sizes, as well as brands and marketers, grow their audiences and generate income.

Global media tech company BBTV has hit several milestones in 2020 and is showing no signs of slowing in 2021. Since the beginning of the year, BBTV has also completed the largest TSX IPO with a sole female founder and CEO, achieved record revenue, launched an app that became that #1 Family Game on the US Apple iOS App Store, and increased its global footprint with 121 billion views in Q3 of this year. Perhaps most impressively of all, in Q3 2020, BBTV reported a record CA$120.7 million in revenue, which was an increase of 31% year-over-year, or CA$28.3 million.

The Inevitable Shift Toward Influencer Marketing

Brands turning to influencers to sell their products isn't anything new, but they've had to change their approach in recent years. Along with using high-profile celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston, brands are also signing on digital influencers in an effort to capture the highly sought-after Millennial and Gen Z audiences. It's not surprising these brands are after these generations, with their combined spending power in the US alone nearing $3 trillion in 2020 and expected to continue growing.

BBTV is using technology-enabled solutions to help content creators targeting these younger generations become more successful online. The company has secured several paid direct advertising branded entertainment campaigns across consumer verticals like gaming, entertainment, lifestyle, and sports, and has generated 464 billion advertising views across all genres in the 12 months ended October 2020. BBTV's overall revenues for the 12-month period ended October 31, 2020, were $431 million. November 2020 was BBTV's record month for direct advertising, with 50%+ revenue growth in comparison to November 2019.

The company has also been increasing its roster of content partners. On November 30, BBTV signed new international gaming partners Acenix, Games EduUu, L'étoile Noire, Mustafa GAME OVER, and VinhMC, who collectively achieve 217 million monthly YouTube views and boast over 23 million YouTube subscribers. Three weeks prior, the company signed contracts with major content partners Nick Pro, penguinz0, Jack Denmo, and Francesca Farago, adding 267.8 million monthly views and 12.5 million subscribers.

BBTV has also signed on a number of widely popular gamers including Fresh, who has 6.9 million YouTube subscribers, and Typical Gamer, who boasts 10.8 million YouTube subscribers, and esports player Pamaj from FaZe Clan, who has 3.2 million subscribers. BBTV has partnerships in place with three of the top 10 Gaming channels on YouTube, and five of the top 20 Gaming channels on YouTube, based on total subscribers. BBTV's gaming content has achieved 78 billion views LTM September 2020, with the most consumable formats like eSports (such as Fortnite and League of Legends), Casual Games (such as Minecraft and Roblox), GTA, and PUBG generating significant viewership and engagement from audiences.

The company works with all verticals, as well as with large media companies. On December 14, 2020, BBTV announced the signing of a new SaaS Content Management agreement with the NBA (National Basketball Association) for which BBTV manages all fan uploaded NBA content on YouTube across the globe excluding China. Also in December, BBTV announced that it is providing its content management solutions to the Encore+ YouTube channel, which has over 120,000 subscribers and is one of Canada's largest content libraries.

Businesses Continue to Focus Their Efforts on Video Content

Audience attention has consistently changed over the years as new technologies develop, meaning brands and marketers must evolve along with them to remain competitive. From the humble beginnings of radio and newspaper advertising to TV commercials to 30-second YouTube ads, the way companies get in front of their target audiences transitions every decade.

Naturally, search engine giant Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) jumped on the movement early by acquiring video-sharing mogul YouTube in 2006 for a cool $1.65 billion. YouTube now has 2 billion monthly active users who are watching over 1 billion videos per day, 1 million YouTube TV paid subscribers, and over 500 hours of video uploaded per minute.

Multimedia messaging app Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP) has always been video-focused and generates 98% of its revenue from advertising. However, the growing popularity of TikTok has led the company to take new initiatives to compete. In November, the company introduced its Spotlight feature to promote and pay content creators to post on the platform. The company plans to distribute over $1 million every day to top content creators through the end of the year via its new Spotlight feature to compete with TikTok.

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has also shifted its focus toward video to keep up with the times.  Although the company acquired livestreaming app Periscope five years ago, it has recently begun focusing on its own in-app video abilities. In recent months, Twitter has been building out Twitter Live and launching Fleets, which is very similar to the Instagram Stories feature.

Even business and employment-focused social platform LinkedIn, which was acquired by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in 2016, has launched LinkedIn Stories to keep up with the rapid shift towards short-form video content. LinkedIn began testing the feature internally in February and officially rolled out the full-screen feature in September.

BBTV Corp. (TSX:BBTV), which was founded in 2005 at the onset of the digital video revolution, has always focused on helping content creators grow and monetize their audiences and is now the second largest video property in the world.

For more information on BBTV, please visit this link.

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