The Entertainment AI Company Welcomed New Hires and Clients, Continued its Mission to Empower Creators, and Exceeded Previous Growth Milestones
LOS ANGELES–BEN Group, the entertainment AI company that integrates brands into influencer, streaming, TV, music, and film content, today announced a year of monumental business growth, groundbreaking social impact campaigns, and new AI developments that are driving the future of entertainment and advertising.
The product placement and influencer marketing divisions both saw record-breaking years as entertainment and content production ramped back up to full speed. As a result, BEN saw a steady increase across all key performance indicators, including new clients, revenue growth, and content integrations. Overall, the company’s client bookings increased 77% YoY, and its revenue grew by almost 50% YoY. Additionally, both the product placement and influencer marketing divisions signed several notable new clients in Q4, including Hulu and Bloomingdale’s. The creator audience growth and content optimization tool TubeBuddy also hit record growth, with over 9M subscribers driving an almost 50% YoY increase in revenue.
To support its rapid growth, BEN hired over 200 employees across its global offices in 2021. Notably, the company welcomed Debbie Blevins from Razorfish (owned by Publicis Groupe) as General Manager of Influencer Awareness; Jeff Barlow from Qualtrics as VP of Engineering; and announced Tyler Folkman as Chief Technology and AI Officer.
Throughout 2021, BEN supported several social impact campaigns to cultivate inclusive narratives and diversify the entertainment industry. For example, sexual health company Durex turned to BEN to execute a campaign centered around building equity in sexual health and wellness – regardless of gender, sexual identity, or expression. BEN sought out a creator partnership that would authentically bring Durex’s message to life and engage audiences on a global platform. This resulted in a partnership with critically acclaimed rapper Lil Nas X, who is also a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Lil Nas X featured Durex in his music video for “THATS WHAT I WANT,” from his debut album Montero. To date, the video has been viewed almost 100M times on YouTube alone.
BEN was also recognized by Adweek’s Brand Storytelling Awards for its work with Old Navy in fostering inclusive narratives in Hollywood. Old Navy teamed up with BEN to find streaming integration opportunities that would spark broader cultural discussions around inclusivity in fashion. To accomplish this goal, BEN created partnerships with Netflix’s Queer Eye and Never Have I Ever, two shows that amplify the voices of traditionally underrepresented groups. Old Navy’s integrations in these shows highlighted the brand’s dedication to inclusion. As a result, the brand saw double-digit increases in several key marketing performance indicators, demonstrating the impact of telling and supporting diverse stories.
BEN and its creator optimization arm TubeBuddy played a major role in MrBeast and Mark Rober’s #TeamSeas campaign. #TeamSeas launched in October 2021 with the goal of raising $30 million by the end of the year to remove 30 million pounds of trash from oceans, rivers, and beaches worldwide. BEN and TubeBuddy leveraged their AI – specifically their Audience Similarity and Creator Discovery tools – to identify targeted influencer groups, who had overlapping audience psychographic communities, so as to stir buzz and mobilize entire communities toward the cause. The creator community stepped up to the task, with 23K participants producing more than 40K videos on YouTube alone, 5K that were uploaded within the first hour of the campaign’s launch. This effort raised $30M across 600K donations, highlighting the power that creators have to make a difference for social and environmental impact initiatives.
“Creators have an unparalleled ability to enact social and environmental change, as do philanthropic organizations and brands when they leverage entertainment. BEN is proud to stand in their corner, offering our strategic advice and AI technology to bolster their initiatives,” said Ricky Ray Butler, CEO of BEN Group. “When MrBeast called me and our team to support the incredible #TeamSeas initiative, we knew that he could make a real difference. Together with his influence and our technology, we amplified the campaign above and beyond our initial goals. BEN is honored to help MrBeast – and other creators, brands, and organizations like him – reach audiences, drive calls-to-action, and change the world. We look forward to continuing this important work and partnering with iconic figures like MrBeast, who will be known for generations to come for his impact on our society and our planet.”
BEN’s outstanding work throughout 2021 was made possible by its investments into expanding its world-class tech and AI capabilities. BEN continues to focus on breakthroughs with video understanding and knowledge extraction from unstructured data to drive full-funnel business solutions for its clients. As a result, the company recently patented its multi resolution attention action model, as well as presented at the International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications. BEN anticipates that these breakthroughs in understanding what causes videos (both long- and short-form) to drive sales and engagement from consumers will have massive implications for all content creators, platforms, advertisers, and audiences.
Looking ahead, BEN is committed to expanding its offerings of groundbreaking tech solutions, industry expertise, and in-depth collaborations with brands and creators alike. BEN is pushing its capabilities for creators to new heights, and will hone its AI to get closer to achieving full end-to-end automation for the creator economy. This innovation will enable global and localized scale for brands and creators to capitalize on a critical marketing and sales channel. BEN is also continuing to see breakthroughs in video understanding, creator and audience insights, and predictive modeling, thanks to its collaborative AI approach, where its team and technology join forces to enhance their individual strengths.
About BEN Group
BEN Group Inc. is an entertainment AI company that integrates brands into influencer, streaming, TV, music, and film content with guaranteed ROI. BEN Group consists of the world’s largest influencer marketing business; the world’s largest product placement, promotions, and licensing agency; and TubeBuddy, the largest platform to help YouTube creators optimize their audience and channel growth.
With its proprietary AI and platform, BEN is the first and only company using machine learning and deep learning neural networks to identify high-impact opportunities for authentic, non-disruptive product placement and influencer marketing. BEN combines its AI with 40+ years of data, entertainment experience, and a team of industry experts to connect brands with the right audiences and content opportunities in meaningful ways. BEN works with the world’s top brands, including Microsoft, General Motors, Unilever, Tencent, and General Mills.