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IDEA #40 – Vyous – Capturing Your View on Everything (events, topics, websites, businesses, products)

p1010020.JPGMission of this idea: To become the largest source of original “opinionated” video, photographic, and contextual content on the web (globally).

Note: There’s some good marketing ideas here (IMO) if you’re an online video website trying to differentiate from YouTube. Also, this idea was originally called ‘YouClips’ or ‘UClips’, so you may see some references to that in here.

You can likely see where IDEA #39 Vyous – Aggregated Event Photos/Videos (everyone’s views) eventually led my mind to. You could have “vyous” on every movie, product, business (yellow pages), websites, topics, restaurant, etc. Parts of (or the whole thing) of my past idea (LikeLoveOrHate.com) could come in handy.

I get this picture in my head of people submitting their video “vyous” on “pizza joints in Buffalo NY” — “I go to La Nova — I mean, look at this pizza; it’s AMAZING!” I see people kind of competing — giving their opinions on what they think is the best. And everyone has an opinion — and many times on this type of stuff, it’s going to differ. You’re going to like one pizza place, whereas someone else likes another. You’re going to like a movie, another person will hate it. You’re going to like a sports team, whereas another person will love another and despise yours.

Update – I added several additional posts related to this idea:

Here was a pitch document I had created back in December of 2005:

  1. Seeking: $60,000 seed investment

  2. Mission: To become the largest source of original “opinionated” video, photographic, and contextual content on the web (globally). Users are able to:

    1. Upload videos/photos from your cell phone or computer (web cam, digital camera) to our website.

    2. View tons of videos/photos on our website.

    3. Download any videos/photos from our website to your cell phone or Video IPod.

    4. Compete with others by creating your own video based around a daily topic. View the creative videos that other people create with the same topic.

    5. Ringtones are created from tons of videos on our website and can be downloaded to your cell phone.

    6. Display any videos/photos from our website on your:

      1. Website

      2. Blog

      3. MySpace profile or as video/photo comments on friends’ profiles

      4. Xanga profile or as video/photo comments on friends’ profiles

    7. Post video/photo/text comments on tons of topics and friends’ profiles.

    8. Create your own profile with videos about yourself, photos of yourself, and your interests.

    9. Connect with others, blog, and view video profiles.

  3. Our Solution & Benefits: Our service will be unique in that it will provide free and easy methods of sharing/interchanging video from cell phones, Video iPods, and websites (blogs, MySpace profiles, etc). Our community of users share their opinions and insight on a variety of predefined topics. We end up extracting tons of information that traditionally would not be shared by consumers. Consumers end up viewing others’ opinions on a topic and then feel reason to share their own opinion on a topic, whether they agree or disagree with others’ opinions. Blogs are great for allowing people to say whatever is on their mind, but there is no consistency among user’s posts. Ditto on podcasts. Our website gives people predefined topics that they can share their thoughts on, with the world!

    1. For example, a topic might be on the new movie “King Kong”. People will be able to easily record a video of themselves reviewing the movie and post it for this topic, along with everyone else’s reviews of the movies, allowing users to watch the reviews of the movie by their peers. Another topic might be “Best Pizza In…”, which allows people to post video of themselves at their favorite pizza establishment in their town – for example, Joe User might live in Des Moines, Iowa, and contribute to this topic giving his two cents on the best pizza in Des Moines. Another person, Suzanne User might live in Des Moines, Iowa as well, but differ from Joe’s thoughts and show a video of her favorite pizza joint along with her taking a big bite into the pizza.

  4. More Solution Details: Aside from all the predefined topics that exist on the website all the time (such as “What is your favorite pizza place?”, “Where do you get your haircut?”, “Is ’40-Year Old Virgin’ worth seeing?”, “What is your favorite rock album of the year?”, “How is the new Kanye West album?”), there will be a daily video contest. Each day, a topic is chosen that users have 24-hours to create a video that incorporates the topic. For example, the topic might be “Altoids” – one user might create a 15-second video clip of Altoids dropping out of the tin canister and bouncing off a wooden floor; Or a female user might create a video that has Altoids lined-up on her body leading you on a trail to something provocative only to stop the video at that point. Everyone submits their unique video during that 24-hour period. The following day (“Day 2”), there will be a new topic that people can create videos for (such as “Belly Button”), but also they can view all of the prior day’s video entries (in this example, the “Altoids” videos) and rate them. On Day 3, the winners are announced for the “Altoids” videos, as well as people can view/rate the video entries for the “Belly Button” topic, and a new topic is announced (such as “Basketball”).

    1. Why this will work: People will be competing with each other to come up with the most original video based on the same topic that everyone else is using and for which everyone had the same amount of time to create a video (“level playing field”).

    2. Why this will be so valuable: Imagine receiving 15,000 unique videos incorporating one of these topics such as A
      ltoids. Imagine the power of walking into Coca-Cola and saying, “I can have 15,000 unique videos created within 24 hours that incorporates your brand and that will be viewed by 1 million users. In a total of 48 hours, I would have those same videos all rated/ranked by peers, so that you know which ones were rated/ranked the best by their peers.”

  5. Marketing & Leverage Points: To succeed in achieving growth rates, we will depend on viral techniques in growing our user base. Our website will be an exclusive invite-only network for the first couple of months. We will invite consumers that meet certain criteria in our minds as being online social influencers – for example, someone that has 200+ friends in MySpace. Google Mail (“GMail”) and Friendster both grew this way. We feel it will make people feel important and have a higher dedication to our community. These influencers will be empowered to invite others into the website.

  6. Expenses:

    1. Videos can be fairly large and use a lot of bandwidth. The largest expense will be this bandwidth cost.

    2. To reach the online social influencers initially, a lot of searching will be done to find those influencers in social networks (such as MySpace, Xanga, and Facebook), and then a lot of one-on-one personal interaction will be performed with these influencers to bring them on-board. These interactions will be done by other reputable members of these social networks.

  7. Revenues:

    1. The largest source of revenue will be one daily sponsor that will pay to have their brand become the topic of the daily contest. For their contribution, they will receive X number of unique videos created around their brand, Y number of users that view all of those videos with their brand, and Z number of total minutes per user that is exposed to their brand/logo.

    2. Video Advertisements – blended into posted videos will be advertisement videos that will be slightly differentiated to the user. For example, a video that is a trailer for a new movie coming out, or a video commercial for a new product that might be of interest.

      1. Also video ads will play after every 5- or 10- video views by a user. The ads will play before or after the next video they watch.

  8. Problem buy-in; Market & Opportunity Size:

    1. Still an ability to enter the social networking market with strong unique differentiator(s) – focus on video, and topics that encourage users to give their opinion (disagreeing or agreeing with others in the community).

    2. $175 billion – estimated teen consumer spending market

    3. $200 billion – estimated college student consumer spending market

    4. 33% of high school seniors with a credit card

    5. Video is on the verge of exploding.

      1. 34 million gigabytes of video created this year, compared to 24 million gigabytes last year (says research firm IDC).

      2. 100 million users (60% of U.S. Internet population) streams or downloads online digital media each month. (http://www.marketingvox.com/archives/2005/12/02/most_users_mostly_middleaged_watch_online_video/ )

      3. 73 minutes of streaming video content each month by average consumer ( http://www.marketingvox.com/archives/2005/10/14/56_percent_of_internet_population_views_streaming_video/ )

      4. 45% of online video viewers are ages 35-54. (http://www.marketingvox.com/archives/2005/12/02/most_users_mostly_middleaged_watch_online_video/)

    6. Quotes (http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/051130/media_summit_wireless.html?.v=1 )

      1. If I had to make one prediction I would say that’s going to explode, mobile media” said Charles Rutman, media buying agency MPG’s chief executive for North America, adding that people are more dependent on their cell phones than ever before.

        1. “People are spending time with thei
          r mobile device. If you look at teenagers these damn things are surgically attached to their bodies,” he added.

      2. Bain & Co. partner David Sanderson, head of the consulting firm’s global media practice, said that emerging services such as mobile video could provide one of the strongest areas of growth for companies that create content.

        1. I like the wireless content space. That is an area that is going to go through massive growth,” Sanderson said in response to a question about the next opportunities for investors to take advantage of the changing media landscape.

    7. 39.4 million Americans with a multimedia-enabled phone, according to M:Metrics.

    8. 24 million U.S. teens (12-17):

      1. 87% use Internet

      2. 65% Instant Message (IM)

      3. 44% go online everyday

      4. 29% keep several IM conversations going at once

      5. 29% have more than 50 “buddies” on regular IM list

      6. 25% IM people in the same room

        1. Data: Pew Internet & American Life Project

    9. 6.5 hours per day spent by 15-18 yr olds on watching TV, playing video games, and surfing the Net. (According to recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey)

      1. 1 hour and 22 minutes per day spent on social networking activities, on average.

        1. MySpace has 40mm total users — 20.6 million active users (Oct. 2005); 9.2 mm were age 12-24.

          1. 165 employees; Purchased for $580 million by News Corp.

          2. 9.5 billion pageviews per month

          3. 130k new users each day = 3mm new users per month

        2. Xanga has 6.4 million active users (Oct. 2005); 3.2 mm were age 12-24.

        3. Facebook.com has 9.5mm total users — 4.2 million active users (Oct. 2005); 2.4 mm were age 12-24.

        4. Friendster has 20mm total users – 1 million active users (Oct. 2005).

          1. For sale, seeking $50-$100 million.

  9. Competition:

    1. Youtube – raised $3.5 million venture capital. Claim 8 terabytes of video viewing per day, which is more than 2mm videos shown each day, and over 200,000 registered users. Revenue generation unknown; no advertising at moment.

    2. vidiLife – social networking site for sharing video; 39k users after 3-weeks; Brad Greenspan (founder of Intermix Media, which owned MySpace) has provided angel investment. CEO is a former Intermix employee.

    3. Social Networking Sites: MySpace, Facebook, Xanga, Friendster, Yub.com, TagWorld.

    4. Vimeo – 20,000 users daily. Plans to generate revenue through advertising and eventually offer “pro” subscriptions for those who want to post more than 20 megabytes per week (one or two digital camera video clips, at about 30 seconds each). Founders also run CollegeHumor.com

    5. Sharkle – Generates revenue through ads.

    6. ClipShack

    7. Google Video

    8. Phanfare ($6.95/month)

    9. Streamload ($4.95/month)

    10. Mobango ($24.95/year) – allows downloading of video to user’s cell phone. For free, a user can upload own videos and download them to their cell phone, but not able to do anything with other users’ videos.

    11. ZippyVideos – anonymous uploads; tons of copyright infringement.

    12. PutFile – anonymous uploads; tons of copyright infringement. 1.4mm daily pageviews.

    13. Resources:

      1. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techinnovations/2005-11-21-video-websites_x.htm

  10. Technologies Used:

    1. PHP/MySQL/Linux for web programming

    2. Components already selected for uploading videos/photos and encoding/decoding videos.

  11. Status; Timeline; Use of Funds:

    1. Solution is technically detailed out. 2-month development cycle until full launch. 1-month for beta launch. Full launch before Spring Break (March ’06).

    2. Use of $60,000 Funds:

      1. $25,000 Website Development;

      2. $10,000 Marketing: personal 1-to-1 marketing and user affiliate programs (compensate users that bring other active users to us; exclusive VIP invites into this website initially)

      3. $10,000 (3-months of daily prize give-aways valued at $100; prize goes to highest user-rated original video creations)

      4. $15,000 hosting and bandwidth fees (3-months)

    3. Goals:

      1. 50k users April;

      2. 100k users May;

      3. 250k users June (first sponsorship deals; $250k+ investment);

      4. 500k users July (server/bandwidth expansion);

      5. 750k users August;

      6. 1.5mm users September;

      7. 2mm users October;

      8. 2.5mm users November;

      9. 3mm users December.

  12. Team

    1. Steve Poland, President – manage development and grow business through viral marketing initiatives

    2. Eric, Sr. Programmer

    3. Nathan, Graphic Designer

    4. Brandon, Programmer

CONFIDENTIAL – PROPERTY OF VESTED VENTURES, INC.

  • http://wantsy.blogspot.com Robert Dewey

    So what we have here is a place where people can create their own videos that review everything? I like it. I’ve been thinking about the “review 2.0” market, and this would certainly be pretty cool.

    I like how you don’t limit the concept to just products — it leaves it open to everything someone might come across and/or spend money on. Even better, it’s focused on videos!

    Am I getting this right?

  • http://www.vestedventures.com Steve Poland

    Robert — yes; right on. Focused on videos, differentiates from YouTube/Revver/etc, because it would be a focused website where topics / products / etc are all listed — and people are then basically given “inspiration” to create a video on something… whether it’s their view on March Madness, favorite chinese restaurant in their town, a review of why they loved Norbit, why Conor (of Bright Eyes) is the Dylan of my generation, etc. [btw – he is]

  • http://wantsy.blogspot.com Robert Dewey

    Another monetization strategy would be to share ad revenue with the content providers (aka the users). Most people would do it because it’s fun, but now you have an additional incentive.

  • rulepark

    60K, hmm, can give it a try. But I see this is a complex and live system. Will be great to be the first beta user. COUNT ME IN as the system test ENGINEER. Hehe…

  • rulepark

    A good and outstanding LOGO is a must to make the brand and market the site.

  • GG

    There are several sites out there now that are paying for ugc video reviews and content. Associated Content does an upfront payment

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/video/3986/product_review_crunk_juice.html

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  • Venkatesh

    Steve,

    I have checked this idea of yours quite thoroughly given my interest in this space. I agree in 2006, this was a great are to start a business in. But given that i m still interested in the online video space in general, I feel compelled to ask you 2 questions now.

    1. After going thro so much pain, why did you not pursue this all the way to materialize into a product/company ? Did you see any pitfalls in this idea or plan, or was it that it just did not materialize ?

    2. How do you see the online video industry now ? Is the future in focused video on demand or is it turning towards video broadcasting ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/adeel.ahmed.85 Adeel Ahmed

    Hi… how come you never went through with this?