BEN Closes 2020 with Rapid Business Growth, Continued Innovation in AI
2020 Marked by TubeBuddy Acquisition, Major Strides in Influencer and Product Placement Divisions, and Investment in Industry-Leading AI Capabilities
SHERMAN OAKS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#advertising—BEN, the entertainment AI company that integrates brands into influencer, streaming, TV, music, and film content, today announced a banner year across the company, including its work in product placement, influencer marketing, and AI.
In 2020, BEN saw a record-breaking year, executing more than 22,500 collaborations with content creators. BEN also signed more than 120 new clients across its business, increasing its new client bookings by over 200 percent. These new clients demonstrate BEN’s expanded presence in key product verticals such as beauty and fashion, gaming, consumer products, financial and insurance services, and technology. Building on this growth, BEN hired 78 new employees across departments throughout the year. All of this points to BEN’s excellence and industry-leading work in influencer marketing and product placement, which was further proven when BEN was named the Streamy Awards Agency of the Year in December.
Not only did BEN see a year of impressive client work, but the company continued to develop cutting-edge tools to expand its proprietary AI technology. In Q1, to accommodate the growing demand of branded Instagram campaigns, BEN refined its predictive “Story View” tool, improving its ability to predict Instagram story views with 45 percent more accuracy than previous models. In Q2, BEN introduced its new engaged audience and content comparison tools for influencer discovery. Built for Instagram and YouTube, these unique, first-to-market AI tools allow marketers to uncover new influencers that best fit a brand’s goals and strategy based on content aesthetics and audience overlap, providing deeper levels of discovery within influencer and content genres.
In addition to its industry-leading AI tools for influencer marketing, BEN has also continued to enhance its ability to predict TV viewership for both streaming and linear shows. In Q4, BEN developed a breakthrough AI model that allows for both short- and long-term viewership forecasting, a true first for the television industry. This model takes into account seasonal viewership patterns, as well as future season releases, to provide brands with accurate weekly viewership predictions over the lifetime of a streaming TV episode. Ultimately, these capabilities give brands the ability to more accurately predict ROAS for product placements.
BEN rounded out a successful year with the acquisition of TubeBuddy, the largest platform to help YouTube creators optimize their audience and channel growth. With its acquisition of TubeBuddy, BEN will extend its resources directly to the creator community, empowering the platform’s network of 6M+ creators through its proprietary AI and deep learning neural networks. Ultimately, this partnership will expand the arsenal of predictive analytics tools available to creators to help them grow and monetize their content.
TubeBuddy is led by Rob Gabel, founder and former CEO of Tubular Labs, as General Manager. In this role, Gabel will focus on integrating and scaling the TubeBuddy platform and expanding the tools available to creators, a feat that will become increasingly valuable as content continues to decentralize.
“2020 was a year unlike any other,” said Ricky Ray Butler, CEO of BEN. “As an industry, we’ve faced unprecedented challenges, from production halts to stay-at-home restrictions. Despite these uncertainties, we are humbled to help some of the world’s biggest brands explore new opportunities for non-disruptive advertising. Our advancements in AI have contributed to impactful integrations with top film, television, music, streaming, and influencer content, driving meaningful connection during a year of separation. We’re proud of the growth our team has seen this year and look forward to leading deeper innovation, from industry-leading AI to empowering creators, in the new year.”
Throughout 2020, BEN also welcomed top industry talent to its executive team, including:
- Lindsay Cohen, Executive Vice President, Influencer Strategy
- Khudor Annous, Senior Vice President, Influencer Client Development
- John Carle, Vice President, Influencer Client Services
- Megan Savitt, Vice President, Influencer Strategy
- Renee Teeley, Vice President of Community, TubeBuddy
- Alex Montas, Vice President of Growth, TubeBuddy
- Neal Varner, Executive Director, Product
- Gwen Miller, Senior Director, Growth and Optimization
About BEN Group
BEN Group Inc. is an entertainment AI company that integrates brands into influencer, streaming, TV, music, and film content with guaranteed ROI. BEN Group consists of the world’s largest influencer marketing business; the world’s largest product placement agency; TubeBuddy, the largest platform to help YouTube creators optimize their audience and channel growth; and Greenlight, a global rights and licensing business.
With its proprietary AI and platform, BEN is the first and only company using machine learning and deep learning neural networks to identify high-impact opportunities for authentic, non-disruptive product placement and influencer marketing. BEN combines its AI with 40+ years of experience and a team of industry experts to connect brands with the right audiences and content opportunities in meaningful ways. BEN works with the world’s top brands, including Microsoft, General Motors, Unilever, Tencent, and General Mills.