Rightster rebrands as Brave Bison in content creation push

Ashley MacKenzie

Ashley MacKenzie

UK-based digital company Rightster is rebranding as Brave Bison as it prepares to reposition as a content-creating, social video broadcaster.

The company previously provided various digital services to entertainment and advertising firms and had MCN assets through its £50 million (€63 million) acquisition of Base79 in 2014, but is now creating an in-house production studio to produce content for social platforms, primarily YouTube and Facebook.

“We are going to move aggressively into the world of owned and operated content,” Ashley MacKenzie, chief executive of Brave Bison told DTVE‘s sister title TBI in an exclusive interview. “We’ve got lots of open job roles for producers, editors, programme directors and runners – we are building a content creation business.”

Brave Bison will use other company assets to build advertiser partnerships, and, ultimately, branded content deals. It is also understood the company may look to manage talent, similar to firm such as Gleam.

This comes after Base79 co-founder MacKenzie became Rightster group CEO last year, and a £10 million funding round in January. MacKenzie has consulted for Rightster after the Base79 sale and then replaced former YouTube EMEA senior exec Patrick Walker as chief exec.

MacKenzie said the firm had “achievable ambitions” in terms of its volume of content creation and potential revenue gains.

Brave Bison will remain in the MCN business, supporting 20th Century Fox’s YouTube channels outside the US and Paramount Pictures International’s 29 YouTube networks, for example. It also has deals with the Turkish Tourist Board, Turkish Airlines and Procter & Gamble, and is one of the largest non-US multichannel networks.

“Rightster and Base79 provide services to other people – if you are a content owner you partner with us to help build audiences on YouTube and Facebook – the classic MCN model,” said MacKenzie. “We do that very well and have some very big partners, but we see opportunities and we believe we can do it for ourselves.”

The Brave Bison name switch was confirmed at a company AGM yesterday. Further announcements of strategic plans and hires are understood to be forthcoming in the next two months.