July’s New York Video Meetup began with Magnify.net CEO and the evening’s host Steve Rosenbaum bringing out a Google Glass and talking about the device, which he said will change video.
The first presentation was from Narratively, a website that features original, “untold” stories tied to a new theme every week. These stories can be told across a variety of formats, including video, which Narratively’s director of video Emon Hassan and co-founder/CEO Noah Rosenberg were at the Meetup to talk about. The duo screened a short film about a person who cleans and fixes antique clocks for a living. The theme was squatters and stalwarts, and used radio-like voiceovers and sound effects to add a story to photos.
Narratively makes its videos available on narr.ly, narrative.ly, vimeopics, their YouTube channel, and at offline screenings like this one.
Narratively has also become a freelance market for video creators and filmmakers. Contributors use Narratively as like a content agency to get the attention of media companies and brands. In fact, Bloomberg has frequently hired creators through Narratively to produce short firms. Hassan and Rosenberg said that the site has paid all of its contributors since day one — never more than a couple hundred dollars per piece, though, since they have over 350 contributors. It added advertisements in December. The current business plan is to channel higher paying work to the site’s contributors, syndicate video content for large publishers (like Bloomberg), and delve into paid subscriptions.
The next presentation came from Chris Danzig, founder of Camera Tag, which lets sites collect videos from users. Camera Tag will host the videos so sites like Rap Genius, Huffington Post, and more have quick access to video comments. But the videos can also be used in parts of newscasts or for video interviews on hiring websites, and SingWho even uses their services to host an online singing competition. Web video pioneer Ze Frank and OK Go have used Camera Tag to do a lip-sync music video/art piece together. Danzig revealed his service records more than 24 hours of video every 24 hours.
Next up was Charley Miller, head of product for TouchCast, who brought an iPad to give a hands-on experience with the new interactive video app. We’ve written about TouchCast before, but as a refresher, it’s a new video platform/app that wants to change how videos are produced and experienced on the web and on mobile devices. Think of it as a TV studio in a box, which allows creators to shoot a video and embed interactive elements within the video via vApps, or video apps. vApps can be anything from YouTube videos to webpages, polls, and maps, all of which viewers can interact with while watching a video on TouchCast.
Finally, Rosenbaum interviewed Blip CEO Kelly Day, who started the conversation by saying, “I genuinely believe that the way that people 25 and under consume content is dramatically different than the way I, my parents, and my grandparents consume content.” As such, she placed a heavy emphasis on authenticity and having a two-way conversation between creators and audiences. “I believe that video needs to be human, people need to watch it and have opinions,” she said, adding, “I don’t think that an algorithm can predict what people will like.” In fact, when discussing successful creators on the web, Day noted that it’s because “they really spend time really building their community.”
There are over 5,000 creators actively uploading content on to Blip, which splits ad revenue 50–50 with creators, a “competitive rate” according to Day.
Blip is also focusing on scripted drama and comedy content, which Day said does really well on Blip and does not do well on YouTube. Blip’s core audience is also older than that of YouTube’s, according to Day. Blip reaches the 18–24 year old demographic, while YouTube hits the 12–18 year old crowd.
Day also touched on how Blip is currently going to market to sell their Newfront slate to brands.