The Collective, an agency that manages YouTube talent such as Freddie Wong and The Annoying Orange, has acquired video destination site Metacafe. Metacafe began in 2003, before the days of YouTube, and was then promptly surpassed by that site. Yahoo! was once a suitor for Metacafe to the tune of $200 million back in 2006, and the thought is that the amount this time will likely be far less, as Metacafe claims 12 million unique visitors, down from a high of at least 28 million as recently as March 2008. So far, few are talking about it, but it won't be long before we see the official release.
The Collective's Interest In Metacafe
Peter Kafka at AllThingsD says that The Collective is interested in Metacafe's ad sales infrastructure and team. One of the things I keep hearing, especially from guys like Philip DeFranco, is that people who know YouTube well often try to succeed outside of YouTube, because the site's known issues tend to make it hard to make a living at times. With a site like Metacafe, The Collective can cut deals for talent that don't have to be subject to the mad tinkering of YouTube. This is why you see guys like DeFranco and Epic Meal Time go with Revision3 to generate more ad money and nail down deals not possible with YouTube.
Kafka mentions Machinima and Maker Studios as examples of independent channels that make their own deals. In other words, it's good to have YouTube for exposure and the occasional lottery jackpot, but being on solid ground means working outside of the YouTube Partner structure and being able to survive when YouTube wages war on the present.
We talked with The Collective CEO Michael Green back in January, where he talks about his company and his advocacy for talent:
I'm sure there will be even more details later on, but hey, the acquisition of a pioneer video site forgotten by some is possibly getting some new life.