Viddyou Looks to Tap Into the Videoblogging Revolution
After looking at a State of the Vlogosphere report issued last month, I’ve begun to look at videoblogging in a new way. Not only is videoblogging the newest area of explosive growth within the wider blogosphere, I’ve realized, but there is no single market leader on the Internet that videobloggers can look to and say, Now that’s where I need to go to get my stuff seen and noticed.
There’s YouTube, of course. But anyone who has spent any time there will tell you it’s a clunky and rambling fun house of both crap and hidden treasures. The best chance you have of finding anything there is via search (search for “cat toilet training,” and welcome to the web 2.0 revolution!) or “related videos” to the one you’ve just watched. The real killer app of YouTube though is the ability to embed videos on any blog, website, or social networking profile.
Videoblogging start-up Viddyou is looking to create a new space catered specifically to videobloggers. Here’s one from a videoblogger named Cottonwood:
I had recently did a little back-and-forth e-mail interview of sorts with CEO and co-founder Aaron Wadler.
How do you position yourself as an alternative or standout from YouTube?
Aaron:YouTube is an incredible site for video file hosting, and sharing. Some YouTube-based vloggers have awkwardly shoehorned their posts into the YouTube model only to get lost in the masses of videos uploaded. YouTube simply isn’t designed for videoblogging. Our narrow focus has allowed us to design and build a pure video blogging community from the ground up allowing anyone curious about vlogging to easily get into it. With Viddyou we developed functionality specific for video bloggers and their audience.
Where do you see vlogging heading over the next year or two?
Aaron:Right now videoblogging is in the earliest stages of its infancy. I think what we’re seeing now from the vlogosphere is merely a glimpse of what it will develop into. And when I say vlogosphere I really mean all the components involved: from the individual vloggers, to the distribution and publishing platforms (Internet, and beyond), as well as the monetization models and companies. In the future vlogging will be as commonplace as text blogging is today. The video format of vlogging will open up the blogging concept to a much broader audience of publishers who may not necessarily be good writers or proficient typists, but nevertheless they still have a valid and interesting message they want to express, and the video format will resonate with them.
What specific vlogs stand out to you, and why are they special?
Aaron:There’s really some incredible untapped talent out there in the comedy world, so I watch a lot of comedy/skit vlogs (Lookshiny.com, zefrank.com, sweatyrobot.com).
And lastly, I especially enjoy the raw viewpoint that many of the personal vlogs out there offer: joshleo.com, Renetto on YouTube, lisanova.info, ummahfilms.com, and many others.
How does Viddyou plan on making money? How do you see vloggers themselves (as opposed to Viddou) making money, if at all?
Aaron: Being a brand-new company in a newly emerging space has allowed us to be experimental in our revenue plans. Currently we’re focused on building the absolute best platform possible for vloggers. Ultimately our revenue model will be as diverse as the community we support. For the professional vlogger we will offer premium services for a nominal fee (subscription model). Pre and post-roll adverts, targeted sponsorships, and even banner advertising may become relevant options as well.
Vloggers â€“ like bloggers â€“ are diverse in their aspirations, focus, and goals for their content. The majority will be happy with having an easily accessible vlogging platform available to share their thoughts and lives with family, friends, and others. Some will be able to leverage this new communications and entertainment medium into a career. Vlogging is still in a period of discovery in how someone can be compensated for their work. This could take the form of everything from banner ads placed near the video, to television-like commercials, premium paid content subscriptions (like HBO/Showtime do with broadcast television), product placement, etc.
The key for Viddyou and others looking to create a premiere videoblogging destination will be to provide tools for vloggers to promote and market themselves (and perhaps, eventually, make money) and particularly to provide the audience with a user experience that allows for intuitive and elegant browsing of videoblogs. If I find a videoblog that I like, for instance, I want to instantly be able to “subscribe,” download it as a video podcast, place it in the “favorites” area on my profile, and so on, so that I can ensure that I catch future episodes.
From there, the race will be on to aggregate the top videobloggers on the Internet.
Meanwhile, I wonder what Zeke the cat is up to.