Branded Entertainment Network (BEN), which harnesses artificial intelligence technology to integrate brands into both digital and traditional content, has today announced its acquisition of TubeBuddy — a browser extension that provides YouTube video optimization and channel management.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Six-year-old TubeBuddy provides a whole host of services for creators across both free and paid versions, including channel management, optimization, audience growth, keyword research, thumbnail generation, A/B testing, bulk processing, and advanced analytics. TubeBuddy is used by over 5 million creators, including PrestonPlayz, Chad Wild Clay and Vy Qwaint, What’s Inside?, Evan Carmichael, the Eh Bee Family, and Lizzy Capri.
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As part of the acquisition, TubeBuddy will become a division of BEN Group, and Rob Gabel — the founder and CEO of social video analytics firm Tubular Labs, who departed in September — will join BEN as general manager of this new division. Gabel will be tasked with integrating and scaling TubeBuddy among creators, and expanding its toolset.
Additionally, TubeBuddy’s staff will be integrated into the greater BEN team, and TubeBuddy’s co-founders — Phil Starkovich, Eric Hogan, Jim Starkovich, and Chuck Starkovich (who is Phil and Jim’s father) — will serve as strategic advisors to the combined company.
“TubeBuddy is a pioneer in the creator and influencer community, and one of the fastest growing brands to help YouTube creators level up their content initiatives,” BEN CEO Ricky Ray Butler said in a statement. “At BEN, we have focused on using A.I. to empower the next era of artists and content creators, and we’re excited to apply our technology at scale to help millions of TubeBuddy creators grow and monetize their businesses.”
BEN also said it will be bringing its proprietary A.I. and deep learning neural networks — which it uses to pair up influencers with brands like Microsoft, General Motors, Unilever, Tencent, and General Mills — to TubeBuddy to further expand its arsenal of predictive analytics tools. In the future, BEN said it hopes to create a standalone platform where creators can access its full suite of customized, automated tools.