Bebo back in content game
By Kate Bulkley
For Broadcast July 20, 2010
Bebo, the social network behind KateModern, is to re-enter the content market.
Bebo was bought by Criterion Capital Partners from AOL in June and new chief executive Adam Levin told Broadcast that content production and commissioning arm Bebo Originals would be revived in the next two months.
“We’re launching a studio in LA in the next 60 days,” he said. “I want people to know we are in the content creation business and we’re looking to make a push there.”
Levin would not reveal how much the content creation arm would have to spend, but said producers should think like independent film makers. He said they should expect budgets that are “smart” with an emphasis on creativity and an entrepreneurial approach.
“I’m not looking to put producers into business, but I am looking to find content creators and producers who want to be entrepreneurial,” he said.
The revived Bebo Originals will look to do branded entertainment, in-house production and commissions. Its predecessor was one of the first casualties after the $850 million sale of Bebo to AOL in 2008. But AOL owned the company for only a short time, selling it to Criterion Capital Partners last month.
31-year-old Levin was previously managing partner at Criterion Capital Partners and was named CEO of Bebo two weeks ago.He is keen to use content as a way to lure users back to Bebo, which has 117 million registered users, versus more than 400 million at Facebook. Bebo has around 13 million monthly users.
The average age of Bebo users is 18 - younger than Facebook - a fact that Levin plans to leverage in his favour.
Bebo is busy hiring new executives and plans to add more applications and more interactivity to the social network as well as key partnerships, including with mobile operators.