Glasgow agency Cut Media set to triple in size and up global work

A Glasgow-based content agency behind Red Bull's most-viewed YouTube video aims to put down roots in London and grow its work from overseas clients as it expects to double or even triple in size within the next seven years.

Cut Media founder Stu Thomson (left) with cyclist and long-time collaborator Danny MacAskill

Cut Media was established by Stu Thomson in 2011, after an injury ended his career as a professional mountain biker and he moved into making short film clips for brands.

The business was initially a two-man band but has grown to nine, and has worked with clients including the BBC, VisitScotland, and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as well as Livingston-based cycle wear brand Endura.

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Thomson told The Scotsman that its two largest clients are Adidas and Red Bull.

It notably collaborated with the energy drink business on the “Imaginate” clip of cyclist Danny MacAskill that has racked up more than 86 million views on YouTube. Thomson directed the video – which was six months in the making – and said it proved pivotal in the company’s growth. “It was quite a ground-breaking project,” he added. “It was a good opportunity and a really good learning curve dealing with a production of that scale and size.”

The business has focused on the sports/outdoor adventure and tourism market, and has also worked with US finance firm T. Rowe Price. It has also been expanding into lifestyle areas such as fashion and tech, creating digital branded content aimed at the youth market. Its in-house team pulls together full campaigns “that we know can hit the right audience,” Thomson added, with global brands very much on its radar.

Some 55 per cent of the firm’s turnover – which is “well over” £1 million in total and has 
doubled year on year for the past three years – is from 
international clients in Europe and the US. That is up from about 20 per cent in 2015 and set to grow to about 65 to 70 per cent.

There are plans to have a presence in London to help leverage growth, and expand staff to the early teens “in the next while”. He added: “Over the last two or three years the growth we’ve been through is absolutely amazing.”