New tool makes YouTube videos more profitable, Vancouver's BroadbandTV says

Supposedly boosts viewership by 34%

BroadbandTV CEO Shahrzad Rafati

BroadbandTV CEO Shahrzad Rafati

There’s never been a better time to put your two cents on camera. BroadbandTV, a Vancouver-based startup that helps companies and Average Joes make money off their YouTube videos, has a new tool for churning out even more lucrative clips.

According to BroadbandTV, which operates the fourth largest YouTube network in the world, VISO Catalyst can boost a video’s viewership by an average of 34% in 30 days. It works like this: Prior to posting a video on YouTube through the company’s dashboard, clients pick suggested tags and an optimized thumbnail image aimed at catching more wandering eyes. VISO Catalyst also schedules videos to go online at peak viewing hours.

The tool went live today, but testing began in June. During the closed beta, roughly 55,000 videos were enhanced with VISO Catalyst, and according to CEO Shahrzad Rafati, they’ve “been tweaking the algorithms to create better results.”

The launch comes on the heels of two major milestones for BroadbandTV. The company secured a whopping $36 million investment from European media titan RTL Group in June, and last week its YouTube networks reached a billion monthly views.

With any luck, VISO Catalyst will lift that figure even higher. Rafati says her company already optimizes videos this way for its biggest clients, which include, for example, Disney and the NBA. But VISO Catalyst is automated, meaning now its Average-Joe customers can take advantage of similar strategies. She’s happy with the early results, but as YouTube’s functionality and viewer habits change, so too will her company’s technology. “Catalyst is a living, breathing product,” explains Rafati. “We’re going to continually roll out features.”

The reason is simple: More views equals more cash. Popular YouTube channels have the option of splitting ad revenue with YouTube, which is determined by the number of views a video gets. These partnerships are how creators make money (though often the pay isn’t what they were hoping). For people who film original YouTube videos, BroadbandTV acts as a publisher, promoting clients’ videos through its channels while strategically boosting viewership. The company takes a slice of the ad revenue in return. For someone already earning income on YouTube, the assumption is that BroadbandTV will generate more additional ad dollars than it takes.

In other words, if VISO Catalyst really does increase viewership by 34%, it will not only make the company more money from and for its current clients, but also entice others to come knocking.