Spellbinding scenes captured by adventure seekers and even wildlife made GoPro the hottest video camera around. And now, the company wants to give marketers a sharper view. Hundreds of those videos, like those from the perspective of a dolphin swimming alongside his pod or a dude jumping from a tall building, will soon be at marketers' fingertips via a platform dubbed GoPro Licensing.
"We've gotten calls almost daily from creative agencies, TV networks and film studios that want to use our content," said Adam Dornbusch, head of programming at GoPro, which just began taking marketers' applications via its online portal.
Michelle Slusser McKinney, director of business affairs at 72andSunny, said the clips stand to build more consumer engagement than your standard user-generated content on YouTube, offering that her agency's sports clients may be planning to incorporate GoPro material into campaigns.
"The most significant difference between regular user-generated content and GoPro content is higher quality and footage [that comes from] in and around spaces that are not easily captured," she explained. "When you want adventurous high quality, then GoPro fills that space. It brings a unique, first-person experience with content that also differs from traditional licensed content."
At launch, GoPro Licensing will feature more than 600 videos from amateur and professional videographers with whom the San Mateo, Calif.-based company has struck licensing agreements. It plans to continuously expand the number of clips available, with the aim of making GoPro to videos what Getty Images and Shutterstock are to still images. Videos start at $1,000 apiece, depending on the extent of commercial use and distribution.
"This is going to stay at a very premium level," Dornbusch said. "If you are looking for top-shelf content, this is the platform."
Insiders predict GoPro Licensing could grow into a significant contributor of revenue for the company. Its timing seems fortuitous. Video ads are now a $7.7 billion industry, per eMarketer. And the marketers that produce that content seek a higher level of creative. Forty-eight percent of marketers polled by PAN Communications this past March expressed a lack of confidence in their content.
"I believe licensed video is another step in the evolution of user-generated content in brand marketing," said David Karnstedt, CEO of branding consultancy Quantifind. "There is a significant demand from marketers for quality video content, and with proven economic models from [periphery incumbents like Getty Images and Shutterstock], I believe this new market could be a significant value-creation event for GoPro."
Could GoPro videos shake up the agency model? Karnstedt thinks they could. "I do think agency executives may be somewhat resistant," he said. "Instead of a two-day video shoot, brands can now purchase a video and take the production expenses out of the equation, which could reduce creative costs in a significant way."
The clients most likely wouldn't see that as a negative.
"A lot of brands want one-of-a-kind, crazy types of content but don't want to pay for the necessary production," said Jeremy Greene, CEO of PingTank, a social-animation app that counts McDonald's and Coca-Cola as clients. "And we are going to eventually see TV commercials that are made by the hands of GoPro creators. Some kid from Omaha, Nebraska, is going to be watching TV and suddenly realize, 'Hey, I made that,' which is pretty cool."
This story first appeared in the July 20 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.