If I’d written that headline 20 years ago, it would have conjured up images of the top shelf in video rental shops – but not now! This is about premium, short-form, embeddable videos.
We are working with a French/Belgian company, VideoStep SA, who have developed a new model for video distribution, based on the existing model not meeting the needs of both producers and publishers.
We all know that video is one of the stickiest parts of a website, and helps tremendously with SEO, and that the amount of video going onto the internet is huge – but it is mainly amateur and time consuming to find, so publishers with deadlines don’t use anything like as much as they could. By the same token, many video producers don’t have the reach they could, and if they use a syndication model, there are issues of control and revenue share to an extent that monetisation models return very little.
VideoStep is firstly a search engine for premium, short form, embeddable video, providing a professional marketplace for producers and users. It enables producers to increase their inventory whilst retaining a larger share of revenues, and critically to leave their video in their own player, so they get all the clicks, social media likes and so on.
And for publishers, they can semi automate a video page that will give them a lot more sticky content, more ad space to sell and a share of revenues on sponsored videos, as well as more advertising revenue on their own videos (from pre-roll or similar).
VideoStep launched in France in January 2012 after nearly 2 years of technical development, and is funded by VC’s and internet entrepreneurs including France’s richest internet billionaire. And to launch in the UK, they were looking for a partner rather than an agency.
We of course work as an agency in both B2B and B2C, and have spent many years building sales funnels for B2B clients in a traditional marketing/agency role, even though the tolls and channels have changed. So for us, it was simply a matter of doing what we do with a particular product in a particular market. So far so good. But we have also taken on sales responsibility for the UK, so as well as making appointments, we are keeping them, following up and signing contracts.
We launched in the UK in February, and although it is early days, the initial reactions have been very positive.
This is an additional workload as 100 Percent Direct Marketing is still very busy and growing, so with some regret, I have stepped down from the various trade association and industry roles I held – with the DMA on both the mailing house side and integration committee, as editor of the Why Mail newsletter, and as chair of the B2B Alliance. I first sat on a trade association committee 30 years ago, so I think I’ve done my bit, but 100 Percent remains a committed member of the Direct Marketing Association and individually as a Fellow of the Institute Of Direct and Digital Marketing too.
As I write, VideoStep has just over 300,000 videos indexed in its search engine, and this should hit 2 million by the end of the year.