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Baracksdubs to relaunch with growth plans

Posted at 6:16 PM, Aug 31, 2015

His musical mashups of President Barack Obama singing popular songs have reached tens of millions of viewers. Now, Fadi Saleh is taking his three-year hobby called baracksdubs and turning it into a business.

Spare Time Entertainment, a recent graduate of Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s Media Works digital media accelerator, will be focused on building baracksdubs into one of the largest online entertainment brands by the end of 2016.

“People say there is no formula to going viral,” said Saleh, 22, a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee. “I say there is a formula, and we’ve unlocked a part of it.”

Baracksdubs, which has covered such songs as “Call Me Maybe,” “Uptown Funk” and “Get Lucky,” will relaunch this week, using proprietary technology built to speed up the editing process by scouring the Web for clips of words requested.

“I don’t just find one clip for each word; I find multiple clips for each word so I can pick the right combination,” Saleh said. “But it takes forever. Now, I can put out these videos much more faster.”

A typical video would take on average 100 hours to create, depending on how many words are in the lyrics. The latest technology allows for no more than one day’s worth of editing.

That’s crucial, he said, because to grow audiences and become a top entertainment company, he needs to ramp up production. Saleh plans to release a video every two weeks this year and possibly increase frequency to every week next year.

The baracksdubs YouTube channel has more than 900,000 subscribers, and with each new video release, it adds another 50,000 to 100,000, he said. Saleh has a goal of reaching 10 million subscribers and to expand to other distribution platforms. He also wants to incorporate other celebrities including UT football Coach Butch Jones.

The model is based on generating revenue through advertising and branded content.

“Putting out content consistently makes you more appealing to other brands that want to work with you and to your audience,” he said. “There will be a compounding effect of putting out content.”

Ultimately, Saleh hopes to transform the content genre through his technology, which he believes can be used for different business segments.

Saleh was paired with experienced media veterans Channing Dawson, Doug Hurst and others during the Media Works program to help support and educate him on the industry.

Entreprenuer-in-residence Jonathan Sexton said having those resources made available to Saleh was invaluable.

“The way content is being created and monetized is changing so fast,” Sexton said. “And although he had created a ‘hit’ when it comes to content, finding a way to sustain and grow that success into a business was uncharted territory for him.”