Corbis Acquires Plaid Social Labs

Plaid Social Labs to Join Corbis Entertainment’s Branded Entertainment Network (BEN) Platform

Launches BEN Digital Channel Connecting Brands and Advertisers with Integration Opportunities with Online Video, and Digital and Social Media Influencers

NEW YORK--()--Corbis, a Bill Gates company, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Plaid Social Labs, a leading product integration agency focused on online video and social media platforms. As part of the announcement, Corbis will launch a new Digital Channel within Corbis Entertainment’s Branded Entertainment Network (BEN), the interactive platform it launched in May 2014 that provides global brands and media buyers with end-to-end access to Film, TV, OTT, Digital, music video and celebrity product placement opportunities. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Consumer viewing habits are changing dramatically as more and more young people are turning to digital and social media celebrities on YouTube, Facebook, Vine and other platforms for their entertainment and information rather than traditional film and television”

For Corbis Entertainment, the launch of a new digital channel extends the reach of the BEN platform to provide brands and advertisers with highly-valuable and hard to access product integration and embedding opportunities with leading digital influencers and content creators on YouTube, Vine, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitch, Instagram and other digital and social media platforms. Plaid Social Labs, which was founded in 2010 and has offices in Provo, UT and Los Angeles, CA, has a track-record of connecting leading brands including Relativity Media, Warner Brothers, Sony, Turkish Airlines, Arby’s, PetSmart, Ubisoft and many others with leading digital influencers and content creators as part of brand integration and marketing campaigns.

“Consumer viewing habits are changing dramatically as more and more young people are turning to digital and social media celebrities on YouTube, Facebook, Vine and other platforms for their entertainment and information rather than traditional film and television,” said Gary Shenk, Chief Executive Officer of Corbis. “The challenge for brands and advertisers is how to connect with these young people in a meaningful way that is true to the brands and the personalities involved. Ricky Ray Butler and the team at Plaid Social Labs have pioneered product integration in online video and the social media sphere. They have rich relationships with digital influencers and social media celebrities across leading platforms based on authenticity, trust and credibility. They use extensive, proprietary data and analytics to target the right products to the right people and provide measurable and quantifiable results for brands, advertisers and content creators alike.”

According to multiple surveys, social media celebrities on YouTube outperform traditional Hollywood celebrities with young people. For example, 63 percent of people aged 14-17 would try a brand or product suggested by a YouTube celebrity while only 47 percent would try a brand or product suggested by a Hollywood celebrity according to a DEFY Media study from March 2015. A survey of 1,500 13-18-year-olds measuring attitudes toward top YouTube and Q-score celebrities that was conducted by Variety in August 2014, showed that the top-rated celebrities were all social media celebrities, versus traditional Hollywood celebrities.

Added Mark Owens, Chief Revenue Officer of Corbis, “By incorporating the Plaid Social Labs capabilities into BEN and creating a broad-based, digital channel, we are able to jump-start our capabilities in online video and social media and offer brands and advertisers an immediate, comprehensive solution to the challenge of connecting with young people. We are thrilled to have them as part of our team.”

Rick Ray Butler, Founder and President of Plaid Social Labs, said, “I am excited to be joining the incredible, global powerhouse in integration that Corbis is building, bringing new levels of sophistication, technology and analytics to product integration and embedding. The BEN platform and Corbis’ extensive relationships with brands, advertisers, producers, creators and distributors of content will be rocket fuel for our business. It will provide new capabilities and global scale. Corbis fully respects the importance of remaining authentic and true partners to the digital influencers and social media celebrities we know so well. For an entrepreneur like me and the others on our team who took a risk in building this business, we are thrilled to be acquired by a Bill Gates company. We look forward to the next phase in our development together.”

Founded by Bill Gates over 25 years ago, Corbis and its Corbis Entertainment division reflect the impact of digital media on the way people create, share, and consume information and entertainment. The creation of BEN significantly advanced product integration and embedding by bringing technology, search, planning and analytics into the process in a seamless, efficient and effective manner. It facilitates the delivery of placements customized to a brand’s marketing goals and target audience, while providing comprehensive metrics through industry leading third-party partners such as comScore and Nielsen, enabling clients to effectively track performance and ROI in real time.

Corbis Entertainment will host the first Integration Upfront for the advertising community and media on Tuesday, April 28 from 6 pm to 8 pm at the SIR STAGE 37 in New York, NY.

About Plaid Social Labs: Plaid is a boutique media agency that specializes in placing brands within the most engaged social media influencer communities. Plaid utilizes brand integration to increase awareness, lift retail sales, establish product credibility, and build an active community of brand advocates. Plaid works with a majority of the top YouTube, Vine, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitch, and Instagram influencers, and due to unique experience and capacity, has the ability push content with over one thousand digital influencers in one week.

About Corbis Entertainment: Corbis Entertainment connects global brands to consumers through the power of entertainment. Our core competencies include product integration, entertainment public relations, music licensing and partnerships, rights clearances and representation, talent seeding and negotiation.

About Corbis: Founded in 1989 by Bill Gates, Corbis® is a leading digital content and worldwide entertainment rights company. We empower agencies, brands, publishers, and other media producers to capture the attention of audiences worldwide by integrating premium and timely content into their communications. From exceptional creative, documentary, and breaking entertainment content, to product and media integration services, Corbis helps elevate projects, amplify brands, and captivate any audience.


Whit Clay, 212-446-1864