BroadbandTV, which operates a massive digital-video network, has formed BBTV Interactive, a new business division devoted to original games and mobile apps built around top digital talent.
The new BBTV Interactive division is led by Lewis Ball, VP of interactive, e-commerce and professional services for BroadbandTV. The company is poised to capitalize on its ability to directly market the apps to the fans of the creators in the BBTV network, he said.
The announcement, timed for CES 2018, comes after BBTV has already introduced several apps with its creator partners. Those include a mobile game for Fernanfloo, a Salvadoran gaming YouTuber, that has been downloaded more than 9.5 million times to date. BBTV’s upcoming mobile gaming app Squad Rivals, which will feature popular gaming and digital influencers, will launch in a private beta later this month.
“We’re placing an emphasis on building mobile games that are truly ‘broadcastable,'” Ball said. “We’re further connecting digital talent with their fans and expanding revenue streams — it’s a significant opportunity.”
In December 2017, BroadbandTV’s video network generated 34.2 billion views, according to Google Analytics. Total annual views for BBTV increased 66% from 2016 to 2017, from 206 billion to 341.4 billion.
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YouTube creators in BroadbandTV’s network include Yousef Erakat (aka FouseyTube), Bart Baker, and H3H3 Productions’ husband-and-wife team of Ethan and Hila Klein. The company’s key brands include HooplaKidz (kids and family content), gaming network TGN, Opposition (hip-hop music), WIMSIC (electronic dance music), and NBA Playmakers, a fan-focused basketball video network in partnership with the NBA.
Founded in 2005, BroadbandTV is majority owned by media conglomerate RTL Group. A year ago, RTL said it would explore “strategic alternatives” for its stake in BBTV, but at this point nothing has changed in the company’s ownership structure.