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Ryff wants to bring product placement into the creator economy

Ryff, whose digitized product placement service offers brands a tailor-made commercial in film and television, focuses on the creator economy.

The springboard for the LA-based company’s latest effort to tap the growing realm – a service called Spheera – is backed by a $ 11.7 million Series A top-up from Audent Global Asset Management, which announced this week.

Roy Taylor, CEO of Ryff, described it in a statement as “the world’s first platform for the creator economy specifically geared towards any type of entertainment”.

What this means exactly is still somewhat unclear; Ryff spokeswoman Genine Fallon declined to reveal any more information about what Spheera will be. However, she emphasized the importance of helping YouTubers get paid.

“We love creators – everyone loves storytelling – we believe the time has come for them to get what they’re worth,” Fallon said via email.

Founded in 2018, Ryff uses a combination of artificial intelligence and computer vision to evaluate opportunities for product placement in a TV show, movie, or other content, and then insert images of products. For example, an empty space on a counter or table in a movie could easily be taken up by a soda can or cereal box.

From left: Ryff CEO & Founder Roy Taylor and Managing Partner and Audent Global Asset Management Chief Investment Officer Paul Feinstein. Photo by Jason C. Williams

Fallon said this has proven successful for brands he believes see at least a 300% improvement over traditional advertising.

With viral content attracting larger audiences on the internet, it’s easy to see the possibilities the creator economy offers Ryff. According to the influencer marketing company NeoReach, 77% of the approximately 50 million YouTubers worldwide generate the majority of their income from branded businesses, which could mean great returns for the YouTubers as well.

“The whole process is done semi-autonomously, so creators can just focus on what they do best, creating viral content while getting paid for their art,” said Marlon Nichols, Managing Partner of MaC Ventures, who participated in the raise. “And brands now have a different way of reaching potential consumers worldwide in a way that doesn’t disrupt their experience of their favorite social platform.”

Neoreach also found that $ 800 million in venture capital investments have been made to creator economy startups since October 2020. Some of these, including LA-based Willa, are specially designed for paid creators.

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