Zadby Sweetens the Deal for Branded Video Producers

When we first covered Zadby, which aims to match brands with popular video producers, we contended that the company seemed to be giving creators the short end of the stick. Now the Reston, Va.-based startup, after a bit of time in the market, has refined its model to reduce risk for participating video producers.

Zadby general manager Beau Brewer told us the company is now offering higher CPMs, guaranteed payouts, and bigger splits of budgets.

Initially, Zadby thought it could safeguard video producers from having advertisers reject their submissions by limiting product placement mentions to 15 seconds. That way, producers could theoretically sub out the 15 seconds if they got rejected. However that proved unrealistic, since brands ended up wanting to commission entire video spots rather than just a small mention.

Another lesson came from a particular case, in which a brand rejected a submitted video despite the fact that it was good and had attracted a quarter million views, and Brewer felt so badly he said he paid the creator out of his own pocket. Now, commissions must include 30 percent of the expected payment to cover creative costs.

Zadby has brokered approximately 15 finished videos, with customers including Animal Planet and Pizza Hut, according to Brewer. Participating creators include YouTube stars Michael Buckley, Nigahiga and Smosh (though the deals they’ve participated in are not disclosed). The company, which has some eight employees, is currently attempting to raise further funding on top of $400,000 from its founders.

For more on Zadby’s competition, see our recent story: The New Matchmakers: Startups Tackle Product Placement Deals.

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