The place where the new Generation Z idols are born; time for fun or Bulgaria's first website, which is part of the global internet content trends?
What are Vbox7 and 7Talents exactly?
The right answer is: everything above.
This is the Bulgarian video sharing platform, offering all listed above and more. Vbox7 and its production company 7Talents are among the leading trendsetters in Bulgaria's digital world. What is the history behind this success?
A new website appeared – Vbox7. It was not long before Bulgarian media started calling it "the Bulgarian YouTube".
The platform was created by Bogomil Pavlov and Slavi Nikolov. It was based on the model of US-based YouTube, where users could upload their digital video content, soon becoming one of Bulgaria's most popular websites.
Netinfo, as one of the leading digital companies in Bulgaria, quickly saw the website's potential and decided to add it to its portfolio.
This is when Vbox7 officially changed hands – it was now part of Netinfo. After the acquisition, it went to increase its social element – personal messages, discussion groups, greeting cards, wall of events happening now. With the emergence of big social networks, Vbox7's remained focused on video content. However, this did not change one fact: that popular Facebook groups share and engage with the content of Bulgaria's video website. Monthly views now reach 15 million.
Top 40 era
Between 2009 and 2012, nearly 200,000 videos are uploaded on the platform every month. At that time, due to the complicated algorithms, the Top 40 rank list contained the most interesting videos. Respectively, if an original Bulgarian video made it into the ranking, it immediately started attracting multiple views.
Bulgarian music artists were looking for new ways to promote their work and they saw the rank list's potential to reach wider audiences. This is when a new rank list was born – the music Top 40. With time, Vbox7 became one of the key instruments to promote new Bulgarian music.
2012 – Content is a King
Box7 entered a process of market repositioning. This is not just a video platform, but also a platform for Bulgarian video content. This reduced the number of video uploads, but increased local content search.
Based on the model of international infotainment media such as BuzzFeed, Netinfo saw the potential of not only creating content, but creating profitable content. The platform, however, faced a problem – it could not rely only on external content creators.
Thus, in 2015 a production company was created to produce original series, shows and rank lists online in Bulgarian.
Series such as Don't Do That, Bro, Follow Me, The Killer, reality series InstaQueen, Undercover Princesses, and Urban Life are some of the favourite titles of Bulgaria's online audience and Generation Z users.
Currently, this is the only local media destination investing systematically in original audio & video content. Producers can position their productions under license, gaining marketing, revenues and personal contact with the media.
In 2017, the website's mobile app won the Webit Awards prize for best entertainment app in Bulgaria. Vbox7.com's app for iOS and Android devices is part of global trends, but follows user preferences. Users can personalize their preferences – create and arrange video playlists, share videos in social networks instantly, etc.
7Talent's online projects have over 1.5 million followers with over 0,5 billion video views annually. 7Talents offers multiple options and opportunities to advertisers: several types of product placement, sponsorship tags, integrated branding (integrating an element of a client's identity into the production), branded video frame, sponsorship logo during a full episode, etc.
The road from a video sharing website to a platform, where original Bulgarian content is created and new popular faces are born, does not seem long, but it is certainly dynamic.
This is raising the bar even higher, and the Bulgarian video content website has to be always one step ahead – something it has already proved it can do.
*data source: Google Analytics currently used by Netinfo in 2019