In the year since her appointment as CEO of Blip, Kelly Day has worked to make the video platform the premiere destination for audiences seeking original, high-quality video content. For the past 20 years, Day has worked at companies such as AOL, Discovery Communications and The Knot, and in her time with them, watched small startups turn into internet empires.
Now in her position at Blip, Day works with individual creators to produce, distribute and monetize their content over multiple platforms. Blip was chosen over YouTube to house the content of major creators such as Ray William Johnson and The Pet Collective. Although YouTube is clearly the go-to platform for viewing digital video content, Day states she sees YouTube as a complement to Blip rather than a competitor. Looking forward, Ray William Johnson is set to release his first web series from his production studio Runaway Planet on Blip in the fall.
Taking a moment out of her crazed schedule to talk with NMR, Kelly Day shared her strategy for developing Blip, her thoughts on the battle between new media and traditional media, and news of Ray’s highly anticipated series.
With VidCon now behind you, what is coming up with Blip?
Kelly Day: You know, I think Blip is in a really exciting space right now. We’ve got the launch of the stuff that we’re doing with Ray [William Johnson] that is going to be happening in early October so the next eight weeks or so we’re working pretty closely with him trying to get ready for his launch of his new series and the site that we’re building for him. We’ve been having really great dialogue with about a dozen other top YouTube channels about helping them develop their on and off-YouTube strategies, and helping them think about what their owned and operated experience is and diversifying their revenues and what not, and so that’s super exciting and we’re looking forward to that. And then on our owned and operated site, we’ve got a new version of our video player that we’re going to be launching in early September, so we’re super excited about that as well as our Roku app, so we’re going to be doing a major overhaul of our Roku app. We’re planning to launch right around Labor Day as well so we’ve got a bunch of stuff going on right now. It’s crazy.
In your strategy for Blip, how does YouTube fit in as a site you utilize rather than see as a competitor?
We operate channels on YouTube, so we’ve got a channel we launched last October called The League of Super Critics, and we’ve been helping to build. That’s basically a pop culture review site that we built with a number of our Blip talent. It’s actually a partner with Channel Awesome, so we built that with them last fall and we’ve been investing and growing that, and that’s been doing really, really well for us. Actually the last couple of months it’s started growing pretty significantly, and you know we’ve got about 100,000 subscribers now and it’s on a nice upward trajectory so we’re happy with that. We think obviously there is a massive audience on YouTube. We see it as a really critical part of our marketing, audience acquisition, audience development, and really brand development efforts. So a lot of how we think about YouTube goes for our own channel, something like League of Super Critics, as well as how we work with partners, like The Pet Collective, is really thinking about what is the best way to tap into the YouTube community to mainly build the brand and really try and continue to acquire audiences with the idea that your core super fans are the ones who’re going to be most likely to go to the owned and operated site.
Recently The Pet Collective signed with Blip — why did they choose Blip over YouTube? What does Blip have to offer over its competitors?
Yeah, so I don’t really think about it as choosing us over YouTube. The way that we really work with content creators is we complement and kind of amplify what they’re doing on YouTube. We’re working with Fremantle Media to help them really try and build and develop their audience on YouTube. We’re helping them monetize their audience on YouTube through the partner sales program, and then we’re also helping them build and diversify the audience off of YouTube. Last week we just launched a new version of The PetCollective.tv website, and their entire library of videos is up there now. They’ve also got a whole bunch of new content that they launch around “petodies” and memes, lots of fun stuff, so they launch a whole bunch of new content. So that all launched last week, and later this year, we’re going to be looking at doing some additional mobile and over the top development work with them to try and further extend their distribution. We really think about it not in terms of sort of us or YouTube, but really how can we help content creators get their biggest platform possible, reach the widest audience possible, and monetize the audience as well as they possibly can.