Spotter Raises $200 Million To License YouTubers’ Old Videos

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Spotter Raises $200 Million To License YouTubers’ Old Videos
Photo by Wachiwit/ Shutterstock

Bruce Springsteen and Sting are not the only artists these days making millions of dollars from their content catalogs: YouTube stars are monetizing their libraries, too.


Since launching in 2019, Los Angeles-based startup Spotter has spent $350 million to license YouTubers’ back catalogs—providing creators with cash up front in exchange for their videos’ advertising revenues. But whereas musicians like Springsteen and Sting have cashed in on their catalogs as an exit strategy, YouTube creators can use Spotter to get the money they need to further grow their brands. And if they succeed, that only makes Spotter’s investment in them even more valuable.

“If we can give creators money that's on an accelerated basis, that's enough to be game-changing at whatever part of their journey they're in,” Spotter founder and CEO Aaron DeBevoise told dot.LA. “They're going to win at such a big level that everyone's gonna win.”

On Wednesday, Spotter announced a $200 million Series D funding round, led by investment giant SoftBank, that values the firm at $1.7 billion. (The company had previously raised $555 million across three previous, undisclosed funding rounds, it said.) In addition to Softbank, Spotter's investors include Access Industries, CoVenture, Crossbeam Venture Partners, GPS Investment Partners and HighPost Capital.

Spotter founder and CEO Aaron DeBevoise

Spotter founder and CEO Aaron DeBevoise.

The company is hardly alone in making a huge bet on the creator economy. Brands are expected to spend $15 billion on influencer marketing this year, according to research from CB Insights. Tech giants and startups alike are spending prolifically to lure creators, ramping up payouts or letting them put content behind a paywall. That jockeying comes as creators with massive followings look for a bigger slice of the revenue pie.

Spotter contends that its model gives YouTubers a way to capitalize on their work quickly without adding debt or losing equity. The startup licenses the advertising revenue rights to creators’ previous uploads for a usual duration of around five years; Spotter has paid creators anywhere from $15,000 to $40 million for their ad rights, according to DeBevoise, who noted that the average deal is worth about $1.5 million.

The idea of YouTube catalogs as lucrative assets has quickly gained ground. Last month, creator economy company JellySmack announced it would spend $500 million on licensing YouTubers’ libraries.

Spotter has already struck deals with some of YouTube’s biggest creators including MrBeast, Dude Perfect, Like Nastya, Aphmau, and Smokin' & Grillin' wit AB. The company said it has licensed hundreds of thousands of videos that generate more than 40 billion viewing minutes per month.

“If these videos that [creators have] created over time are predictable enough to finance, they can really scale and grow their brands a lot more than the current monetization offerings allow them to do,” DeBevoise said of the idea behind his business.

YouTube star MrBeast, for example, used the capital he received from Spotter to fund his Spanish-language YouTube channel. According to Spotter, MrBeast—whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson—has increased his total viewership by roughly 300%, to 1.35 billion monthly views, since its funding allowed him to expand his content’s language offerings.

“The cost of dubbing is expensive and the revenue on YouTube is delayed—you don't get it instantly,” Donaldson said in a statement. “By partnering with Spotter, I was able to keep dubbing videos and uploading.”

Spotter plans to use its new funding to buy more rights to YouTube videos. The company expects to invest another $650 million on back catalogs over the next 18 months, taking its total spent to $1 billion.

Early on, DeBevoise said Spotter had to overcome concerns from some creators who thought they would be giving up all of their monthly ad revenues; in turn, the company would note it had data showing that most ad revenue comes from new uploads. Spotter now wants to enhance its data analytics offerings to give creators insight into the value of their libraries and ideas on how to improve performance.

“Before it was really ‘Hey, can we get people to believe that this transaction is a good economic deal?’” DeBevoise said. “Now it's, ‘How do we move from being thought of as a transaction to a partnership?’”

🚁 One Step Closer to Air Taxis in LA
Image Source: Joby Aviation

🔦 Spotlight

Joby Aviation, a pioneering electric air taxi company, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully flying a hydrogen-electric aircraft demonstrator for 523 miles with only water as a byproduct. This groundbreaking flight showcases the potential for emissions-free regional travel using vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, eliminating the need for traditional runways. The company's innovative approach combines its existing battery-electric air taxi technology with hydrogen fuel cells, paving the way for longer-range, environmentally friendly air travel.

For LA residents, this development holds exciting implications for future transportation options. Joby's technology could potentially enable direct flights from LA to destinations like San Francisco or San Diego without the need to visit conventional airports, offering a cleaner and more convenient alternative to current travel methods. The company's progress in both battery-electric and hydrogen-electric aircraft positions it at the forefront of next-generation aviation, promising to revolutionize urban and regional mobility.

Notably, Joby Aviation has already made strides in Southern California by securing an agreement with John Wayne Airport earlier this year to install the region's first electric air taxi charger. This strategic move sets the stage for LA to be among the initial markets where Joby will launch its electric air taxi service. With plans to commence commercial operations as early as 2025 using its battery-electric air taxi, LA residents may soon have access to a fast, quiet, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation that could significantly reduce travel times and traffic congestion in the region. In the not too distant future, LA might find itself in an identity crisis without traffic and excess smog 🤞🤞.


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Fuel Innovation: 7 Unforgettable Team Building Experiences in LA
Image Source: Discover LA

In today's competitive business landscape, team building activities have emerged as a crucial tool for fostering a positive work environment, enhancing productivity, and crucially, improving employee retention. Studies have shown that such activities help employees feel valued, with one report indicating that 93% of those who felt appreciated were more motivated at work. Importantly, team building events may improve retention rates, as employees who feel connected to their colleagues and company culture are more likely to stay long-term. With these benefits in mind, let's explore some of the most engaging and effective team building activities available in Los Angeles.

Pickleball

Image Source: Modern Luxury Angelino

Pickleball is a fantastic team bonding activity because of the easy-to-grasp rules and gentle pace make it perfect for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. The game thrives on communication and teamwork, as players must collaborate and strategize to outplay their opponents, boosting team cohesion. Plus, the lively, fast-paced action sparks friendly competition and laughter, creating a fun and spirited atmosphere that brings everyone closer together. Los Angeles boasts numerous pickleball courts that are easy to rent if you have your own equipment. If you need additional assistance organizing your pickleball outing, there are plenty of full-service companies ready to handle every detail for you.

Resources: Pickle Pop, Corporate Pickle


Escape Room

Image Source: The Escape Game

Escape rooms are a great way to build camaraderie. They require participants to work together, combining their problem-solving skills and creativity to overcome challenges and puzzles. The immersive and time-sensitive nature of escape rooms fosters collaboration and communication. Additionally, the shared experience of tackling complex tasks and reaching a common goal helps build trust and foster positive emotions among colleagues.

Resources: The Escape Game, 60Out


Day Trip to Catalina Island

Image Source: Love Catalina

Catalina Island is a perfect day trip for a team because it provides a break from the usual work environment, allowing team members to relax and connect in a new setting. Shared experiences during the trip, such as exploring new places and participating in fun activities, help build stronger relationships and foster a sense of camaraderie. There are numerous team-building activities such as an arboreal obstacle course, an island tour, scavenger hunts and more.

Resources: Catalina Island Group Activities


Top Golf

Image Source: Topgolf

Topgolf is an excellent team building event because it provides an inclusive, relaxed atmosphere that accommodates players of all skill levels, fostering personal connections and improving team morale. The unique blend of competition and entertainment creates an ideal setting for building trust, enhancing communication, and revealing hidden skills among team members. Additionally, Topgolf offers structured team building packages with guided activities, discussion prompts, and lessons on culture, change, collaboration, and strategy, making it a versatile and effective platform for strengthening relationships and boosting overall team performance.

Resources: Topgolf El Segundo


SoFi Stadium Tour

Image Source: Discover LA

A SoFi Stadium tour offers a unique, behind-the-scenes experience of one of the world's most advanced sports venues, allowing team members to explore exclusive areas like premium suites, team locker rooms, and the player tunnel together. The tour provides a shared, memorable experience that can foster camaraderie and spark conversations among team members, regardless of their interest in sports. Additionally, the stadium's state-of-the-art features and impressive architecture can inspire creativity and innovation, while the group setting encourages interaction and collaboration, making it an engaging and enjoyable activity for teams of various sizes and backgrounds

Resources: SoFi Stadium Group Tours


Corporate Volunteering

Image Source: L.A. Works

Volunteer work serves as an excellent team building activity by uniting employees around a shared, meaningful cause, fostering a sense of purpose and collective accomplishment. It provides opportunities for team members to collaborate in new ways, often revealing hidden strengths and leadership qualities that may not be apparent in the regular work environment. Additionally, engaging in community service can boost morale, enhance the company's reputation, and instill a sense of pride among employees, leading to improved workplace relationships and increased job satisfaction.

Resources: Habitat for Humanity, L.A. Works, VolunteerMatch


Corporate Improv Sessions

Image Source: Improv for the People

A corporate improv class encourages spontaneity, creativity, and quick thinking, skills that are valuable in the workplace. It promotes active listening and collaboration, as participants must work together to create scenes and respond to unexpected situations, fostering better communication and trust among team members. Additionally, the playful and often humorous nature of improv helps break down barriers, reduces stress, and creates a shared positive experience that can improve team morale and cohesion long after the event.

Resources: Improv-LA, Groundlings, Improv for the People

🎬 Paramount and Skydance Are Back On
Image Source: Paramount

Happy Friday Los Angeles! Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth!!

🔦 Spotlight

Paramount and Skydance Media have rekindled talks to merge after negotiations abruptly halted in June. The proposed deal, contingent on approval from Paramount’s board, aims to combine Paramount’s extensive media holdings—including CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon—with Skydance’s film expertise showcased in hits like "Top Gun: Maverick." This merger signals a potential transformation in the media landscape, positioning the new entity to compete more effectively amid challenges from streaming services and the decline of traditional cable TV.

Led by Shari Redstone, Paramount’s controlling shareholder via National Amusements, the deal represents a pivot towards revitalizing Paramount’s strategic direction amidst financial struggles and shareholder concerns. The involvement of major investors like RedBird Capital Partners and David Ellison underscores the financial backing aimed at stabilizing Paramount’s operations and addressing its $14 billion debt burden. Importantly, the agreement includes provisions to protect National Amusements from potential legal challenges, addressing previous hurdles that stalled earlier negotiations.

The deal also includes a 45-day period for Paramount to explore alternative offers, highlighting continued interest from other potential buyers like Barry Diller’s IAC and media executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. This flurry of activity underscores the significant stakeholders’ interest in Paramount’s future and its potential as a key player in a rapidly evolving media industry.


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  • Sidecar Health, a startup that offers personalized health insurance plans to businesses that allow members to see any doctor and pay directly at the time of service, raised a $165M Series D led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. - learn more

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