Jan. 13, 2020

Bengü Atamer


Bengü Atamer

Co-Founder & COO, BuzzMyVideos

“I have been witnessing a great uptake of entrepreneurial initiatives emerging from Turkey, with start-up culture and entrepreneurship being supported by various different groups.”


Bengü Atamer is the co-founder and COO of BuzzMyVideos, a digital media company that entertains audiences globally. BuzzMyVideos powers scalable creation, curation, distribution and monetization of online video through its innovative technology platform. Atamer is an entrepreneur and online video expert, now living in London, with a successful career in tech and digital. She has over six years of experience from Google, first by leading the YouTube Online Partnership program launches across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, followed by being the first hire for the YouTube Next Lab EMEA heading up their audience development team based in London. In 2013, she co-founded online video startup BuzzMyVideos, a now fast-growing international company.

As a Turkish entrepreneur based in London, how would you compare the creative industries of Turkey and the UK?
There are definitely a few distinctions, the main one being the size of the creative industries and their contribution to the respective economies. There are a few elements that contribute to each country's strengths when it comes to the creative industries. In the UK, the ease of operation, for example being able to register a company online easily; ease of accessibility, given the UK is the ultimate networking hub, via its events, industry talks, and conferences, allowing one to easily reach out to high-level executives. There are also the various levels of support for innovation, such as incentives or funding available for new innovation hubs to back creative industry start-ups purely focusing on R&D all contribute to its strength in the creative industries. Meanwhile, Turkey has one of the most tech-savvy and young demographics at hand, provides innovation hubs and incentives to support R&D as well, and is an extremely quick when it comes to adopting new technologies. Therefore, even though it might seem like it is playing catch-up in the creative industries, Turkey is stepping up at a quicker pace.

You provide optimization services for YouTube creators around the world. What is your evaluation of the challenges the platform faces in different geographies?
There are some general challenges that the platform faces globally, as it grows in reach and popularity. In the early days, the main challenges of the platform revolved around managing its scale and rapid growth while setting the ground rules for its users and content in terms of its policies. As the platform started localizing into different territories, I assume the challenge then would become more of adapting to the local rules and regulations in order to be able to operate in a specific geography and amplify its growth in that region. Apart from that, in terms of YouTube creators' evolution and adoption of the platform, there are a few similarities. For example, individual content creators are quick to learn and adopt usage of the platform compared to institutional or traditional media owners or players, which results in the rapid growth of user-generated content.

Brain drain is a common challenge for emerging markets like Turkey. How can incentive programs encourage graduates to stay in the country and set up businesses?
I have been witnessing a great uptake of entrepreneurial initiatives emerging from Turkey, with start-up culture and entrepreneurship being supported by various different groups such as angel investors like Galata Business Angels, institutional VCs such as Revo Capital, and accelerators. US- and UK-based funds like 500 Istanbul are also investing in Turkey and launching a base in Istanbul. These initiatives might be encouraging for graduates to stay in the country and set up a business. I also hope other initiatives are launched to attract back talent that have left the country to set up a new business here or expand their existing businesses to Turkey.

How significant is YouTube as a platform for brand promotion?
YouTube is the second-largest search engine after Google and the second-most popular social media platform with 1.9 billion users. There is definitely a massive reach available on YouTube and an audience for any type of content, which, if utilized in the right way with the right strategy, can be highly effective for brand reach. However, many brands have not yet fully taken advantage of the platform or do not fully understand the platform. It is also important to note that once you optimize your content for YouTube, you are indirectly optimizing your content for Google search as well. One of our missions as a business is to make sure brands and content owners are fully aware of the size of the opportunity available on YouTube.