Digital content distributors Valleyarm on content strategy

• Go global or go home is the attitude for many build brand on YouTube

Earlier this month digital content distribution company Valleyarm signed a content deal with Radio Karate, the production company behind Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year and True Story with Hamish & Andy to manage the global distribution of their content across YouTube.

See also:
YouTube specialist Valleyarm taking Hamish & Andy to global audience
• The Valleyarm deal encompasses Radio Karate’s catalogue of programming

Talking about the origins of the Valleyarm business, managing director Mark Ashbridge told Mediaweek: “Originally we were a music aggregator, one of the first independent music aggregators, but more recently we’ve become an enterprise partner for YouTube. We take a global approach to building digital brands.”

Mark Ashbridge

He added a lot of their clients started off as broadcasters. “We’ve spent the last two years working with Turner Broadcasting across the APAC region, we manage their Cartoon Network YouTube channel, and that’s been a really prosperous partnership for both entities. More recently we’ve started to work with Australian production company Beyond.

“We built a global YouTube strategy for them. We manage their intellectual property across YouTube initially, from a security and IP perspective. And then what we’re seeing is an opportunity to build audiences and monetise on platforms such as YouTube, and Facebook is starting to do that as well now. Globally, both broadcasters and publishers are following what creators are doing in the social video space.”

Ashbridge said it has various business models for clients. “They all have different needs. One of the big things we do offer is a revenue share agreement. That’s quite advantageous for companies, because we probably put all the cost upfront in building their audiences and providing the content strategy, and editing and cutting content for digital audiences. We do the work, we identify the opportunity and we share in the revenue. That’s certainly an attractive proposition for many companies that we work with.

“Having said that, some companies understand the value and the power of what social video and social platforms have to offer, and they prefer a retained service agreement.”

It is a very specialised field that sees Valleyarm working with both major media companies down to smaller content creators.

“We worked really proactively with YouTube to be good at what we do. The trend that we’re seeing is more about building audiences and working out how to monetise those audiences from a global standpoint. Social media agencies, for example, probably were about business exposure and about marketing. This is more of a deeper business strategy that we’re angling for, and how we approach things.”

The deal with Radio Karate for Hamish and Andy came after content director Matt Campbell had discussions with them. “We’re pretty privileged to be able to work with such a awesome brand and company. I think we’re starting off fairly gently. They have commercial agreements in Australia, so Australian audiences at this point don’t necessarily see what we’re doing,” said Ashbridge.

“We are looking at how we can grow their audiences in other countries outside of Australia. Ultimately I’m sure we’ll have some content available for Australian audiences, but the first stage is really to work on growth outside of Australia, for their brand and their programs.

“We are planning to grow their profile through content strategy in different markets. The content travels very well, a lot of it is quite viral, very topical, it’s on trend with what’s going on across those social video networks, and people enjoy that sort of content.”

Building audiences outside of Australia is a key focus for Valleyarm.

“We automatically think global when we go and talk to people. We don’t think Australia, even though we’re based in Australia. We think, what content or what type of channel would work at a global level?

“Some creators are driving their media empires by just thinking completely global straight away. That’s one of the different mindsets for some creators and companies like us – we just try to think, where could we grow audience around the world via a platform such as YouTube?”

Content owners that Valleyarm works with include Turner, Beyond, Moshcam, Southern Cross Austereo, AFL and Radio Karate.

Content creators include Jacko Brazier, Rachel Lee, CKN Toys, Marcus Dibble, Grace’s World and Jalas.

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