Archive for the ‘professional content’ tag
Viki Climbs The Great Firewall, Signs With ‘China’s Facebook’ Renren For Its First Video Distribution Deal In The Country
Online video site Viki has made a big business out of aggregating content from around the world, covering 150+ languages in all, and making it accessible to all by crowdsourcing translations from its community of users. Now that pool of viewers is set to get a little deeper with a new distribution deal with Renren, known as the Facebook of China, which will see Renren create a special channel called VikiZone on 56.com, its video sharing network. This is the first time that Viki has partnered with a third party to power its online TV service.
The deal not only promises a new swathe of Chinese viewers to the Viki — Renren has 160 million registered users in the country and will be promoting VikiZone heavily to them — but it is also a mark of how Chinese online video sites and consumers’ tastes are becoming more international, and are looking for more professional content to meet that demand. Coincidentally, today’s news follows just days after Youku — the biggest online video site, known as China’s YouTube, and competitor to 56.com – announced a deal covering blockbuster films from NBC Universal.
While Viki has a large (and often eclectic) catalog of content accessible through its own portal, it looks like the Renren deal will be only for a selection of that. Examples of what will be included are “hundreds of hours” of Cartoon Network programs, TNT dramas — and, Viki CEO and co-founder Razmig Hovaghimian says, content from Japan and Korea, apparently quite popular on the Mainland.
Part of the reason for offering only a “cherry picked” selection rather than the full catalog may be down to making sure the content stays on the right side of China’s censors. They have been known to crack down on social media services when things go against approved editorial grain — and Viki, with its user-generated translations and recommendations bent, is a social site, as is Renren. For this service, Hovaghimian says that Viki will be serving the content from Renren itself, with servers located in China.
That’s in contrast to sites like the New York Times — which, when it launched its Chinese edition the other week, it made of point of noting its servers would not be in the country, likely to help the NY Times maintain editorial control. A video site, Hovaghimian says, has to make an exception to that ideal: “If we served the videos from outside China, the use times and access would be horrid.”
Like Viki’s main site, all content on VikiZone will be free to watch and ad-supported. Down the line, Hovaghimian says that the company wouldn’t rule out paid options as a way of securing the best content.
“We’ve considered a paywall because then it’s easier to get better and fresher content,” he said, referring to the returns just being that much higher on paid services. “It’s hard to do that on ad-based model.” (NBC’s deal with Youku will see the film content sit behind a paywall.)
While Viki and Renren are not disclosing the exact financial terms of this deal, it’s likely to be based around sharing resulting ad revenues. For now, most of the ad sales being done on the site will be through Renren, with a portion of the inventory reserved for Viki to sell itself. It would likely do that through its ad partnership with the BBC (which was also one of the investors in Viki’s most recent, a-list $20 million round).
The deal with Renren is not exclusive, meaning that Viki could be soon launching VikiZones on other video portals like Youku. But it may be a different kind of platform altogether that Viki will tackle next in China: Hovaghimian says it is deep in negotiations with another third party for a mobile-only service that will focus on short-form content and music videos.
And there are prospects to continue launching more of these third-party partnerships with local video portals in other countries, too. Not only is it working on licensing more Chinese content to take out of the country — one recent upload from Hunan TV now is available in 25 languages, he says — Hovaghimian points out that there is a big opportunity in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, which typically have very high CPMs compared to those in the west. “That gives us a high opportunity to monetize,” he says.
Greystripe founders join YesVideo, with plans to turn VHS video conversion into a billion dollar business
Mobile ad network Greystripe’s founders are taking the reigns on video startup YesVideo, the company announced today.
The move comes after Greystripe co-founders Michael Chang and Andy Choi sold the mobile ad company to ValueClick for $70 million last year, which lead to them looking for a fresh new challenge.
YesVideo, which launched back in 1999, is that challenge. The two men have invested $5 million into the startup and will now assume leadership positions, with Chang as CEO and Choi becoming CTO.
YesVideo offers a service that takes a person’s old videos (e.g. VHS and 8mm tapes) and converts them into a digital format for DVD playback and online storage. The overall process of doing this takes a few weeks, and the company has had over 7 million customers since launching. As the resident “tech person” to most of my friends’ parents and my own extended family, I’m frequently asked how to put all those VHS home movies online — so, I can see how YesVideo is fulfilling a need in the consumer market that’s not being met. However, with people only capturing their videos via digital formats these days, I’m uncertain how big of a need there will be for this in the long term.
“We estimate that there are 1.5 billion units of old media out there. That is $20 to $30 billion of digitization services that we are going after, Chang told VentureBeat. “All the digital media companies – like Apple, Amazon, and Roku – are chasing professional content and theatrical movies for their platform. They are missing the boat on the most valuable content for their customers: their personal family memories. You can’t imagine how sticky this service is.”
The company points out that there is a shelf-life on all those old tapes, which will eventually degrade and be lost forever. Chang said there’s also plenty of opportunity to drive business to YesVideo, which no one else is doing in regards to conversion.
“YesVideo is a pioneer in this area, and the only company in the world to have created a massively efficient operation that can easily process over 6,000 physical videos per day,” Chang said in a statement. “Our plan now is to scale our digital products by unlocking various sharing opportunities — via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and by building out our editing tools.”
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has raised a total of $26 million in funding from Chang/Choi, Kodak, LSI Logic, and ROVI. It currently employs 300 people and holds 11 patents related to video conversion processing.
"Why aren’t there more case studies of business to business organizations using social media?"
I get asked this question all of the time. The truth is that most people are not looking hard enough. Yes, we’re all excited when a big brand scores a slum dunk and everyone gets all excited about capturing likes on Facebook, but the dirty little secret of the Internet is this: is you think that social media is good for consumer brands, it’s much more powerful for those in the business to business space.
The opportunities are everywhere.
The best business to business sales are done through relationships, testimonials, white papers and general content marketing (unless you’re in a highly structured, regulated and procurement driven process, but there is still an opportunity to leverage social media). If social media can’t help you augment all of those areas, I’m not sure we’re all living on the same planet. Are the consumers there? We tend to forget that those consumers are also human beings. They’re on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Speaking of LinkedIn…
It was just announced that LinkedIn acquired SlideShare (more on that here: LinkedIn Acquires Professional Content Sharing Platform SlideShare For $119M). This is a prime example of the business side of social media picking up steam. It’s about much more than making sure you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile and that you’re posting presentations to SlideShare, it’s about the very real reality that more and more businesses are turning to the Web as a form of social proofing. They’re looking to dig a little deeper into the online profiles and information that businesses share as a way to "get to know you"… and your business.
Shun social media for business at your own peril.
People will complain about the time and effort that it takes to build valuable connections online (and whether there is any ROI associated with it). They’re right. It’s amazing how strikingly similar the online world is to our day to day lives, isn’t it? Did you think that a robust LinkedIn profile instantly qualifies you as someone worthy of doing business with? What we’re learning is that it’s not about how you present yourself online, it’s also about how you conduct yourself. It’s about who you are connected to, what kinds of engagement you are having and how you connect, share and contribute in these spaces as well. It’s going to take effort… but in that effort comes the value.
For those used to Facebook and Twitter, this is all very obvious.
But, for those who are looking at social media from a business-only perspective, the river is growing bigger and deeper with each and every passing day. As much as these channels provide a publishing platform for individuals to share and connect, there is no reason why you can’t leverage them in a smart and strategic way for your business to have a truly connected presence. In short, if you think that social media is just about "the conversation," you’re missing the bigger opportunity.
What social media means to business to business.
What makes any media "social" is the ability for the media (in and of itself) to be as shareable and findable as possible. That’s the core social action. Once you accomplish that, more people can engage and connect (and yes, this sometimes leads to actual conversations) If you’re not in the business of making what you do as shareable and as findable as possible, then what, exactly, are you in the business of? The LinkedIn and SlideShare deal should make you realize how many tremendous business opportunities are missed – each and ever day – by businesses who wrongfully think that social media is just about businesses acting in a more human way. Social media makes your business more findable and more shareable.
That’s core… isn’t it?
LinkedIn has just acquired professional content sharing platform SlideShare for $119 million in cash and stock. We’ve pasted the release below.
SlideShare is a sharing platform for business documents, videos and presentations.SlideShare lets anyone share presentations and video and also serves as a social discovery platform for users to find relevant content and connect with other members who share similar interests. The company also has a huge enterprise following, and companies like IBM and others use the platform to curate content from all of their employees and partners on a branded page.
SlideShare users have uploaded more than nine million presentations, and according to comScore, in March SlideShare had nearly 29 million unique visitors.
SlideShare has raised $3 million in funding from Jonathan Abrams, Mark Cuban, Dave McClure, and Venrock.
The acquisition makes a lot of sense from a product point of view. SlideShare recently deepened its integration with LinkedIn, and the two companies have compares their relationship to Chocolate and peanut butter for professionals. We actually suggested at the time that LinkedIn should buy SlideShare. Perhaps they were listening to us?
LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with 161 million members worldwide, today announced it agreed to acquire SlideShare, a leading professional content sharing community.
The transaction is valued at approximately $118.75 million, subject to adjustment, in a combination of approximately 45 percent cash and approximately 55 percent stock. Subject to the completion of customary conditions, the acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter of 2012.
Founded in October 2006, SlideShare helps professionals discover people through content, and content through people. SlideShare users have uploaded more than nine million presentations, and according to comScore, in March SlideShare had nearly 29 million unique visitors, ranking it among the most heavily trafficked sites for professional content.
SlideShare is also enabling the sharing of presentations across the Web; nearly 7.4 million presentations hosted by SlideShare are embedded across more than 1.4 million unique domains.
“Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity,” said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner. “These presentations also enable professionals to discover new connections and gain the insights they need to become more productive and successful in their careers, aligning perfectly with LinkedIn’s mission and helping us deliver even more value for our members. We’re very excited to welcome the SlideShare team to LinkedIn.”
Rashmi Sinha, CEO of SlideShare commented, “We built SlideShare to help professionals share presentations and connect people through content. What we can build with LinkedIn, the largest professional network on the Internet, is the most natural extension of this vision. I am excited about what we can build together.”
If Instagram is worth an eye-popping one billion dollars, who’s to say the fast growing Viddy, which lets users easily record videos, apply filters and share with friends, isn’t on the same rocket ship trajectory.
The company, founded in April 2011, has added nearly 10 million users in the last two months and brought on a boatload of celebrities as advisors and investors. Now reports are flying fast and furious that Viddy is raising a series B of $30 million at a valuation between $300-370 million.
Viddy is one of many apps that have recently seen a huge growth surge thanks to smart integration with the Facebook timeline. The company was coasting along at around five million monthly active users through Facebook until they relaunched their app. With the timeline integration, they more than doubled that number in the last two weeks.
It’s not clear that Viddy is a direct competitor to Facebook in the way that Instagram was. Photo sharing is Facebook’s big feature and mobile was the area it was most concerned about leading into its IPO.
User generated video, on the other hand, is a market that has never really produced a profit. Youtube, despite its enormous size, is increasingly focused on producing professional content in the hopes of turning a profit.
Boxee has slowly but surely been building out the adult content offered through its streaming service, and now there is one more in the mix: Pornhub (NSFW link) — which informally calls itself the YouTube for porn, offering a mix of user-generated and more professional content — is now also coming to the service.
But although adult material has long been one of the dead-certs in the world of paid content, it’s still a competitive business and therefore ripe for disruption. So unlike other recent adult additions to Boxee like Fyre, Pornhub is making its debut ad-free and free to watch. It claims that it is the first, official free adult app on Boxee to do so.
This is also Pornhub’s first move to making its content available on TVs, Corey Price, VP of new business development, tells me.
This is not to say that Pornhub’s content will remain free forever. Price says that its mobile web site also started in a similar vein; after it built up its audience, it began to incorporate ads. The Boxee service will likely follow a similar pattern. “The money always comes later,” Price says.
The bulk of Pornhub’s viewing at the moment is on its own web site. That brings in 100 million page views per day, with around 25 million visitors and 3 billion page views per month.
But Price says that they have started to see a gradual migration to watching Pornhub away from a computer. That comes partly from its mobile presence (60 million views per month) as well as the fact that you can already watch Pornhub on TVs via any console with a browser.
The move to TV screens via a dedicated app will mean improved user experience for those watching on those bigger screens, plus more functionality: the remote and keyboard from the Boxee system, he says, “work perfectly” with this app — unlike the browsing experiences.
Similar to other adult apps on Boxee, this content will be filtered and hidden behind a wall to ensure that children — and anyone else a Boxee owner chooses — will not be able to access it.
And as for next steps, Price says that Pornhub is eyeing up Roku and Google TV as its next two TV platforms, as well as building dedicated apps for some of its other brands such as Youporn. In other words, a big move for Pornhub to the TV hub.
One of the best upgrades in Google TV 2.0 was the addition of a dedicated YouTube app — now, it’s about to get even better with an update set to launch this week.
The new YouTube GTV app will offer a smoother interface and a new feature called Discover that will (surprise!) make it easier to find interesting videos. Discover will be a particularly useful addition as Google readies its plans for YouTube original content, something that I’ve previously argued could be a killer app for Google TV if handled well.
Google is reportedly spending upwards of $100 million on its original content plans, which include shows by well-known personalities like skateboarder Tony Hawk, comedian Rainn Wilson, and self-hulp guru Deepak Chopra. The company wants to add more professional content to YouTube’s library, ultimately making it something more than a destination for user-created cat videos. Google is also offering a sweet deal to content creators: 55 percent of ad revenues (after it recoups its initial cash advances), the Wall Street Journal reports.
In addition to the Discovery feature, the new app has new channel pages that’ll also help with finding interesting videos, as well as the ability to easily find related videos.
YouTube is taking things in an entirely new direction in 2012, as you’ve probably heard. They’ve spent somewhere in the vicinity of $100 million to launch 100 new professional content channels over the course of this year, with channels ranging from the Wall Street Journal to action sports, education and entertainment being among the first to launch. Why has they decided to “channelize”? CEO Salar Kamangar explained in an interview earlier this week at All Things Digital’s D: Dive Into Media conference.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
This is definitely not a chicken and egg question! A debate in content marketing circles is whether or not you should simply focus on creating original content and forget content curation. Let’s be clear as my fellow content curator, Jan Gordon, says: There is no curation without original content.
I might qualify this a bit by saying, there is no curation with awesomely addictive social content! And that means creating content – blog posts, tweets, Facebook updates, YouTube Videos – that is valuable and high quality. Not sure if you have awesomely addictive content? Noland Hoshino recently pointed to this excellent checklist from the Content Marketing Institute.
But, remember don’t think content creation vs curation or as is an either/or. It is a both/and.
I might also add: There is not social content creation with content curation. Content curation, the process of seeking and making sense of the best content on your topic or issue from other content creators, can be the foundation of a content strategy. It can not only help you create original content, but also helps you builds your audience or network.
There are many other benefits to content curation – it can help build your staff expertise in a topic area, build thought leadership, reduce mindless information consumption, and inspire high quality original content. While content creation and content curation are two different activities, requiring different skill sets, there are a couple of places where they overlap.
Curated Content Formats
We know that content curation is much more than slapping together links or engaging in “push button” sharing with your circle of friends. Professional content curation is making sense of the topic by researching what’s out there. I like to think of content curation is going the library to research sources for your term paper!
This post from Social Examiner called: 26 Tips for Writing Great Blog Content is an excellent example of a blog post that is curated from many resources. I’m being a little ironic pointing out an example that includes lots of excellent resources and links to how to create awesomely addictive content for your blog. If your organization is writing a blog, this post is worth 30 minutes of your time to sit down and to explore with your team. You’ll come away with some very useful tips for taking your blog content to the next level, from the technical stuff like SEO to getting into the writing zone. (There’s a very simple and useful blog editorial template)
A big hat tip to Nancy Schwartz for curating on Pinterest this blog post from Kivi Leroux Miller summarizing David Meerman Scott’s e-book on Newsjacking which is well worth the $6.99. Newsjacking is piggy-backing on timely news or Meerman points out “the second paragraph of a news story.” It is done by creating original content that takes advantage of timely events that are getting mainstream media attention and providing your organization’s view or take on the topic and sharing it with your audience, including journalists.
Now, this is exactly what one does with curation on a day-to-day basis. Once you discover related content, you describe giving it your point of view or relating it back to your organization’s programs. A good curator will do with content that is not, at first glance, related to their subject (This skill is called “Transdisciplinarity,” or ability to understand and translate concepts across multiple disciplines)
Kivi suggests making Newsjacking part of your staff meetings – because you have to be agile to be able to pounce on the news. Leveraging current events as part of your content strategy – either by curating or creating original content – can also help your get more attention, but provide useful content for your network.
How are you creating awesomely addictive content for your organization’s strategy? Is content curation or newsjacking part of your strategy?