Plaid Social Labs Acquired By Corbis, Deal Confirms The Value of Social Stars


Connecting brands with YouTube creators and other social media stars is serious business. If you need proof then look no further than Plaid Social Labs. The boutique agency headed by president Ricky Ray Butler has pioneered the art of linking up brands with top video and social media influencers and their work in the field has been noticed in a big way. The LA based startup has been acquired by Corbis, the stock photo and digital content company owned by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Corbis has been selling digital content for several years, but the acquisition of Plaid is the key to the company’s big swing into native advertising and content marketing. Corbis plans to add Plaid to its Branded Entertainment Network. It’s a merger that will give BEN access to the network of YouTube, Vine, Twitch, Instagram, and Snapchat influencers that Plaid Social has cultivated over the years. As social media platforms become increasingly more vital to marketing and advertising strategies, the ability to connect and coordinate with social creators is essential.


“Social media is becoming the platform of choice for an entire generation of young people who are looking for entertainment,” said Gary Shenk, CEO of Corbis. “Ricky Ray and the team at Plaid Social Labs have built an incredible business based on their understanding of social media, their relationships and their ability to connect brands and advertisers to the influencers in that world, across all the platforms, in meaningful and relevant ways. We think they will be a great part of our team and we are excited to see what they can do within our organization while remaining true to their roots in the business.”

For creators, the acquisition of Plaid Social is a sign that the marketing and advertising industry is beginning to take them seriously. Content based marketing is widely believed to be the future of advertising. Content creators, with their expertise in using social media platforms to connect with larger and disparate audiences, hold the key to that future. For firms like Plaid Social and for creators themselves, that means a bright future full of demand for their unique services.

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