The power and influence of social media is undeniable. A single tweet from Kim Kardashian instantly reverberates across her 55 million followers, and beyond. For certain brands this level of reach and engagement is incredibly valuable. To find out more about the power of influencer marketing we spoke to Ted Nash – non-exec director of OTV, a company that creates and curates sharable content that builds meaningful connections between brands and consumers. Ted’s the 26 year-old CEO and cofounder of Tapdaq and non-executive director at OTV. He’s been creating online companies from the age of 12 and was the world’s first teenager to achieve 1m App Store downloads at 17 years-old. He was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2015 before being recognised as the ‘Global Mobile Innovator Of The Year’ at The Mobile World Congress later that year.
Let’s start by describing in your words what the company is and what it does?
At One True View (OTV), we create and curate sharable content that builds meaningful connections between brands and consumers. Clients include some of the world’s top organisations, such as McDonald’s, Netflix and SkyScanner. We deliver video content that will appeal to their target market and push it through our social channels, Vids or Outsider, which reach more than 100 million people each month. It’s an incredibly impactful way for a company to reach a massive number of people who can share the content with their friends.
We’ve achieved so much since we launched in Q2 2017 and – within the next 12 months – see the reach across our social media platforms rising to more than 750 million monthly views. This would make us one of, if not the, fastest growing media tech company of the year.
What do you think makes it distinct to any other companies – what’s its USP?
We have in-house content creators who work with our clients to create bespoke content that appeal to a cross-section of their target audiences. In doing so, we support and fund independent bloggers and travel writers to explore destinations they choose and license the content from them which we syndicate through the channels we own.
We also cross-promote content across all our channels, which achieves maximum reach.
What is your personal background?
I was inspired to start my own business when I was 12. I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in Spain at a young age because my grandparents lived there, and I remember looking up to a teenager in the village who seemed like he had everything; all the latest gadgets and ‘things’ that a 12 year-old craves. After working up the courage to ask him how he could afford all this, it turned out he’d created a search engine which became successful. I put pen to paper and, before long, I’d set up my first online business, Rediz, an affiliate-based shopping portal.
I’ve launched many businesses in the 14 years since Rediz, including a search engine, SurfPony.com, a cloud storage platform, UploadPod.com, travel agency TravelArena, and music site Clastaz.com. Although some led to success and others failed, these projects all lead me to where I am today. It’s the failures that lead you to reflect and look at what you need to do differently next time. Failures enable you to learn.
One of my proudest moments was when, aged 17, I became the first teenager in the world to achieve 1m App Store downloads with one of my applications. Later on, I licensed some of the technology I built to News International, where I eventually became head of digital product innovation. I launched and helped manage mobile products for The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times having got the opportunity through someone I had admired for a long time, Steve Pankhurst (co-founder of Friends Reunited).
I owe a huge amount to Steve for my success so far and know I wouldn’t be where I am today without him; it was a struggle to be taken seriously when I was starting, not that I recognised it at the time. When you have the right people in your corner it makes the path to success that bit more accessible, especially individuals who have been there and done it before. The encouragement, support and connections that advocates can provide is invaluable. Pair that with your passion for success and determined work ethic, and you’ll see your maturity fast-forward.
This has lead me to where I am today as non-executive director of OTV and cofounder of in-app advertising platform, Tapdaq.
What inspired the launch of the company?
The reason OTV came to fruition was because we realised the importance of owning the distribution channel before producing a product or service to sell. Too many people and organisations focus on creating a product they think can sell, but don’t have a true route to market. We’re interested in turning this model on its head by building an engaged community with unmatched reach across our social channels before we invest in building a product.
We know that by creating the world’s largest distribution channel in this way, we can build companies which have a much higher chance of success.
When did the company launch and how big is the company as it stands?
Having launched in Q2 2017, we’ve grown at an incredible rate, building two social media channels which reach more than 100m people each month. This equates to about 5% of Facebook’s daily user-base.
At the moment, we have ten content writers and travelers who are filming in locations such as Mexico, USA, Bali, Thailand, Australia and Monaco – and growing fast.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far in your company?
The biggest challenge is managing the process as we scale. When you grow from zero to reaching more than 100m people in a matter of months, ensuring you have a robust infrastructure in place and a team capable of manage that scale is difficult.
It involves hiring fast – but smart – and ensuring everyone has access to the right tools to help them do their job.
What’s your biggest milestone / which are you most proud of?
I’m a huge believer in the notion that your biggest achievement is always in front of you, but I’m incredibly proud of the results we’ve achieved at OTV in such a short space of time.
We’ve been working with some truly incredible companies; Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Netflix, Unilever, Etihad Airlines, Hotels.com, Skyscanner, Rail Europe, Sandals Holidays, Expedia, Qatar Airlines, and Thomson Holidays but to name a few. I’m massively excited to see what the future has in store.
What is your business model and how have you monetised your product?
The business model’s relatively simple. Brands reach out to us in order to advertise their products on our properties. At the moment we’re not focussed on monetisation, instead we’re interested in growing our audience numbers month-on-month and ensuring we reach our targets of engaging 750m people by the end of 2018.
There’s a huge amount of value within influencer channels and we want to make sure we’re a leading force when it comes to media enterprises.
What’s the next step for growth – is the intention to grow the business independently, or look for an exit via acquisition or similar?
It’s not our intention to sell the business for any price. We’re building this organisation to ensure that any other business we launch in the future will be given a springboard – a leg up to success.
Imagine opening a shop and immediately you have hundreds of millions of people ready to hear about the products you sell, with zero cost to reach them. That’s what we’re creating at OTV.
As we execute on the vision, it would become almost impossible for anyone to buy – because there’s an unimaginable amount of value there.
Will you be looking for more funding?
We’re always interested to speak with organisations interested in what we’re doing at OTV. Please contact investorRelations@onetrueview.co.uk if you want to learn more about investing in the company.