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Is New York startup Reelio the Match.com for brands seeking top YouTube video-creating talent?

There’s a match made in heav­en in the off­ing: New York tech start­up Ree­lio worked out that when great YouTube video cre­ators talk, peo­ple sit up and lis­ten. But when brands do the same, peo­ple get skep­ti­cal. So they decid­ed to become the “Match.com” of the “brand meets cre­ator” YouTube world (the sec­ond biggest search tool on the plan­et, don’t for­get). This is the kind of plat­form job­bing prod­uct man­agers sali­vate over.

Mutu­al ben­e­fits?

As the company’s web­site puts it in rela­tion to con­tent cre­ators:

“Brands need you to be the one that brings them to the par­ty on the oth­er side of town and says, “Hey, it’s cool. They’re with me.” For­tu­nate­ly for you, brands are will­ing to pay for the priv­i­lege of your com­pa­ny.”

The more skep­ti­cal prod­uct man­ag­er may well have fig­ured out that brands could eas­i­ly iden­ti­fy the top 1,000 most pop­u­lar video chan­nels on YouTube with­out Reelio’s help. But Reelio’s algo­rithms will allow them to get much, much deep­er: they col­lect and ana­lyze user-cre­at­ed videos uploaded to YouTube, iden­ti­fy­ing tal­ent that might not be so pop­u­lar but is def­i­nite­ly capa­ble of pro­duc­ing superb videos. These cre­ators can — and do — reach a big, engaged audi­ence.

Smart match­mak­ing algo­rithms 

The com­pa­ny then helps brands iden­ti­fy the con­tent that they’d most like to be asso­ci­at­ed with. As Pete Borum, Reelio’s CEO and co-founder, explains, it isn’t sim­ply about hav­ing a hot video that attracts oodles of views and com­ments. The algo­rithms iden­ti­fy cre­ators who con­sis­tent­ly pro­duce top-draw­er con­tent. And as soon as a brand is inter­est­ed, Ree­lio approach­es the cre­ator and enquires whether they’d like to opt in to receive spon­sor­ship offers from the brand.

There’s enor­mous flex­i­bil­i­ty on offer: brands can be deeply involved in the cre­ation of their spon­sor­ship videos or they can be total­ly hands off, sim­ply giv­ing Ree­lio a bud­get and let­ting it deal with the rest. Inter­me­di­ate options are also avail­able, although Borum is on record as stat­ing that some of the best con­tent emerges when brands leave com­plete con­trol to out­side tal­ent.

Our skep­ti­cal prod­uct man­ag­er may by now be feel­ing rather more con­vinced of Reelio’s val­ue to brands, a point not lost on investors: the start­up has just raised seed fund­ing total­ing $1.295 mil­lion, cour­tesy of a round led by e.ventures.

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