Having built a following of millions across social media platforms, one group of social media stars is hoping to parlay their success with viral content into the realm of vertical video.
TeamDom, founded by internet celebrity and Disney channel actor Jake Paul, is partnering with San Francisco-based ad-tech firm Virool on a service that helps brands create vertical videos and other content for ads through programmatic distribution channels. The partnership, which launches today, could further fill out the growing demand for vertical video as a format, which has gained popularity lately thanks to the likes of Snapchat and Instagram.
According to Paul, his company of influencers has a collective cross-platform following of around 80 million, with much of that consisting of younger users between 15 to 25. Apart from TeamDom, Paul has a massive following of his own, with 1.3 million Twitter followers, 5.3 million YouTube subscribers and 6.5 million followers on Instagram. (He was also big on Vine, amassing 1.95 billion loops on the now defunct app.)
Virool—which launched a vertical video exchange last month—gives advertisers a way to buy space on more than 150 demand-side platforms that work with online publishers.
TeamDom and Virool say it’s a chance to push creative content into the automated era.
“This is an opportunity for brands to leverage the know-how of one of the best programmatic video ad-tech platforms and prowess of social media celebrities from conception of an ad campaign to the moment the person sees it,” said Virool CEO Alex Debelov. “Before that the process was totally broken, with different teams creating and distributing content. This is their chance to get it done right and use Virool and TeamDom to get exceptional results.”
Earlier this year, at the age of 19, Paul raised $1 million for the company, which has so far worked with brands ranging from Snapple and Sour Patch Kids to Microsoft and Beats by Dre. He gave an example of a campaign they did for Sprint to publicize its unlimited data policy that included attaching a trampoline to a helicopter and jumping on it in the air.
So why this format? One reason that it’s been touted not only by Paul, but other companies that have ventured into vertical, is convenience.
“People are lazy and nobody wants to turn their phone to the side,” he told Adweek. “I know I have my phone locked so if I have to turn something to the side, I have to turn that lock off.”
When it comes to the preferred platforms for TeamDom, Paul said Instagram and YouTube seem to be the most prominent (depending on YouTube’s ad revenue). However, others, such as Twitch, are gaining traction. Asked what he thinks about the Snapchat, the pioneer of vertical video, he said many of his friends have already stopped using it.
“It’s good for sending pictures back and forth with your friends still, but in terms of a content platform like watching the news and looking at stories, it’s going downhill fast.”