Creator-focused financial startup Spotter has partnered with BBTV to buy $125 million of back-catalog content from the YouTubers in its network.
Founded in 2019 by former Machinima exec Aaron DeBevoise, Spotter provides digital content creators with the working capital they need to make new videos by offering lump-sum payments for the rights to their old content.
Deals are narrow in scope: once they’re signed and sealed, Spotter and the creators part ways. Creators only give up rights to certain videos, and are free to do what they want with their lump sums. Spotter, meanwhile, does not seek involvement in or rights to creators’ future content; instead, it monetizes the content it bought and collects 100% of revenue earned.
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“This is not capital like they would get from a brand deal or anywhere else,” Nic Paul, Spotter’s chief operating officer, told Fast Company last week. “The reason why we wanted the back catalog is because it doesn’t interfere with any of their initiatives, strategies, or growth. They can have new uploads that are generating more revenue than the back catalog, and we can still allow them to unlock a lot of meaningful capital.”
Paul added that the sums Spotter pays creators amount to “life-altering capital” that allows them to “remain independent and in control of their destiny.”
Spotter (which has raised $30 million in two funding rounds from undisclosed investors) has bought content from a handful of big-name creators, including MrBeast (71.4 million subscribers on YouTube), Dude Perfect (56.7 million), and Donut Media (5.85 million).
With BBTV–a Vancouver-based, publicly traded digital network that provides content production, distribution, management, and monetization services to thousands of creators—Spotter will pay a total of $125 million to acquire content from various YouTubers over the coming months.
To date, BBTV says, Spotter has paid its creators $18 million for past videos.
“We’re excited about this deal with Spotter, as it’s a great illustration of how we can empower creator growth while driving new revenue opportunities from our massive-high-quality content library,” Shahrzad Rafati, BBTV’s CEO and chairperson, said in a statement.
“This partnership was formed on the shared value of providing creators the resources they need to grow their businesses and brands and ultimately, reach their full potential,” DeBevoise said in his own statement. “We are proud to provide impactful capital to BBTV’s creators.”