So, what is Famebit?

What is FameBit? Well for a start it has just been acquired by Google for an undisclosed sum. In essence it brings YouTube “celebrities” and brands together with the aim of producing content marketing.

If you are a YouTuber with more than 5,000 subscribers you will be allowed to register with the service. You will then be able to view requests for proposals from companies with products to promote. Brands include Adidas, Sony and Canon. However, it runs across any number of sectors.

The service also analyses your subscribers and the frequency with which your content appears to create a profile of you for the advertiser. Once you submit your proposal, which interestingly allows the user to set the fee, it is just a matter of waiting. If they like you, you hear back. Otherwise, it’s on to the next one…

Why buy it?

Companies worked out a while ago that individual YouTube channels can provide a quick, cost-effective way to reach relevant subscribers. Simply put, if you have a juicer to promote and want a channel with over 30,000 subscribers interested in  juice and smoothie recipes, then you can find one.

When Google announced the FameBit deal, it pointed out that the top 100 advertisers on YouTube had increased their spend by 50 per cent over the past year.

Although FameBit will continue to operate separately for the moment, it will be interesting to see where Google takes the company long-term. It obviously sees a future for this type of marketing.

“We believe that Google’s relationship with brands and YouTube’s partnerships with creators, combined with FameBit’s technology and expertise, will help increase the number of branded content opportunities available, bringing even more revenue into the online video community,” Google product management vice president Ariel Bardin said.


So where do we see the future benefits for content marketing with services such as FameBit? There is clearly a shift taking place whereby companies realise they can be more targeted in their approach.

What’s more, YouTube subscribers have signed up to it. This ventures almost into the realms of permission marketing – in which people accept they will be sold to on some level. Indeed, they probably want to hear about it… even if it’s yet another juicer.

One important point is that this opens up marketing to many smaller companies, start-ups and even one-man bands.

One reservation

At the same time, companies should remember they are out in the wild. At the end of the day, most YouTubers are individuals filming in their kitchens and bedrooms. If something happens or they do something untoward, you might not want that video of them promoting your product.

Of course, the vast majority are regular people with a bit of get-up-and-go and a story to tell. But there have been a small number of occasions when things have gone a bit wrong. 

Systems like this are the way to go… it is just the beginning. FaceBit – and probably YouTube itself – will be very different five years down the line. As will viewer habits.

Google buys FameBit: but what is it? is part of Content24, the blog for London content marketing agency FirstWord.