Los Angeles Business Journal

Subblime Launches to Help YouTube Stars Monetize

By Natalie Jarvey Tuesday, June 18, 2013

As the YouTube ecosystem continues to grow, one of the things that content creators still struggle with is turning their celebrity into cash.

A Santa Monica startup launched Tuesday to try to solve that problem.

Subblime is a website where YouTube personalities can share lists of their favorite things a la Pinterest. People can subscribe to the lists that their favorite YouTube stars have created. They can then favorite the item or click to purchase it.

Subblime receives an affiliate fee every time someone purchases an item. It shares that fee with the content creator who made the list. The YouTube stars can also make money through sponsorships or product-driven marketing campaigns.

Angel investor Adam Winnick started the company with engineer Kevin Stone and YouTube personality Elle Walker. The company graduated from the fall class of accelerator MuckerLab and is backed by ShoeDazzle founder Brian Lee and StubHub co-founder Jeff Fluhr.

Winnick said the idea for Subblime came from talks he had with YouTube personality Walker. She had begun making sponsored videos but didn't want to alienate her audience.

"We noticed people were having conversations in the comments section about what she was wearing and the products she was using," Winnick said. "We wanted to transplant those conversations to a place where it was easier to monetize them."

Subblime has been testing its technology with YouTube networks and personalities. The stars will post videos to their YouTube pages introducing their audience to Subblime.

Winnick said many of the stars' fans are transferring over to Subblime as well.

"A great thing about Subblime is that we can build an audience for people,' he said. "It's helped them increase the audience on their videos."