BroadbandTV believes bigger is better

CEO Shahrzad Rafati shares her thoughts on what's driving the network's record growth. (Hint: 'Great content and strong brands' are key).
September 25, 2015

BroadbandTV is now the second-most viewed multi-channel network on YouTube, second only to the music network Vevo.

The Vancouver, Canada-based MCN announced the milestone Sept. 23, based on data compiled by SocialBlade, an online tool that ranks YouTube networks based on views, creators and subscribers. In the past 30 days, BBTV’s total views were calculated at 4.67 billion. Vevo, by contrast, had 9.9 billion views in that time span, while Fullscreen (in third place) scored 4.66 billion views.

BBTV is also third in terms of total subscribers with 17.5 million fans (Fullscreen has 19.9 million subscribers, while Vevo has 19.6 million), according to the recent rankings.

The network’s own statistics measure its content partners at 37,000, achieving a combined 5.7 billion monthly views. The company saw its strongest half in in its history in early 2015, achieving 1.8 billion new views and exceeding a full year’s new views for 2014 in less than five months.

BBTV founder and CEO Shahrzad Rafati (pictured) told StreamDaily the latest rankings, combined with the network’s own statistics measuring 80% growth over the past year, prove the network’s business strategy is working.

Effectively, she said, bigger is better, with continued growth anticipated into 2016.

Rafati credited the network’s expansion, in part, to its early investment in brand building and viewer communities, a move that happened both organically and by acquisition.

“This really comes down to the vision and goals that we set. We wanted to make sure we create brands that millennials care about. You need to have great content, strong brands powered with solid technology to be able to achieve this,” she said in an email.

Rafati credited the network’s expansion, in part, to its early investment in brand building and viewer communities, a move that happened both organically and by acquisition. Gaming has been a big part of that strategy. The network’s gaming brand, TGN,which bills itself as one of the largest networks for gamers on YouTube. BBTV also formed strategic partnerships with Huffington Post to create a news-focused network, Outspeak, aimed at millennials; it partnered with BMG to create Windfall, a platform for musicians to develop their careers online; and completed the acquisition of the family-friendly network HooplaKidz.

“The bigger, the better” isn’t everyone’s recipe for success. Some industry experts believe a move to narrow their content focus is the way of the future for the modern MCN. For BBTV, Rafati said it all comes down to providing niche value propositions to the verticals the network operates in, and, “more importantly, creating strong ecosystems around each of these niche verticals to be able to help the creators become more successful.

“This doesn’t mean that you should only focus on one vertical, but to make sure you are not providing the same value proposition to all creators. Every creator has (his/her) own needs, drivers and wants that vary signficantly for each vertical,” she said.





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