Former MDC Media and Assembly CEO Martin Cass becomes chief marketing officer of BBTV

Investors, however, haven’t been buying the story lately. The Vancouver-based company, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, went public in October 2020 but is now trading 76% below the all-time high share price reached in January 2021.

Revenue, which totaled more than $450 million for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, has flattened in recent quarters, in part reflecting people watching shorter-form video on YouTube and elsewhere, which has weighed on creators’ ad inventory and what they, as a result, pass through to BBTV, Cass said.

But the share of revenue BBTV retains for itself rather than passing on to creators has actually been rising, Cass noted. That’s because of the growth of the company’s “Plus Solutions” business, which includes providing creators with better control of their intellectual property by finding and managing fan-uploaded content across multiple platforms and representing creators in sales of branded entertainment campaigns for brands. Cass said he’s been brought on primarily to focus on building that Plus Solutions business.

During his 30 years in the media agency business, Cass played a key role in securing Procter & Gamble Co. as a Carat client in 2004, and he noted that P&G is a BBTV client today. He was president of Carat US from 2008-2012 and later global client president for the Dentsu Aegis shop when it won General Motors as a client globally.

“One of the reasons I’m here is that we think there’s an opportunity to make our client base broader and more diverse,” Cass said.

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BBTV also last year launched an NFT business and looks to build its presence in Web3, Cass said.

“We’re excited to welcome Martin and his extensive experience as the marketing leader at BBTV,” said Shahrzad Rafati, chairperson-CEO of BBTV, in a statement. “His deep understanding of our space and our value to all stakeholders is key to this next chapter for the business, from the creators we enable to the brands and advertisers we connect to highly engaged audiences at scale.”

Rafati, who immigrated to Canada from Iran, founded BBTV (then BroadbandTV) 17 years ago. When it went public in 2020, it was the largest ever IPO by a female sole founder and CEO on the Toronto exchange.

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