By Sahil Patel
YouTube is the biggest video-distribution engine on the web. But as any creator — independent or studio — will tell you, success in online video isn’t simply a matter of putting a video up; people have to be able to find it. And if they choose to talk about it, the creators then have to be able to find them. That’s how you build a sizable audience for your content and channels.
None of this is easy as it should be, and that’s the idea behind a new social-video distribution and analytics tool called Epoxy, which officially launches out of beta today.
Founded by former Team Downey executive Juan Bruce, Epoxy has integrated with leading social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to make it easier for creators to distribute content and connect with viewers in one place.
The idea for Epoxy came out of a need that Bruce saw when Team Downey ventured into making web series.
“When we started to develop web series, we looked around for a toolset to be able to operate in a quantitative way, and we didn’t find anything,” says Bruce. “I didn’t see the tools that we were going to need to do big web series.”
Specifically, Bruce is referring to the ability to track and develop the audience for content across online video, which, as he learned, is inherently a social medium.
While developing Epoxy, Juan describes the research his team conducted to determine what such a platform should look like. “We did a big study on how the best in online video operated — shadowing dozens and dozens of top YouTubers, digital sides of traditional studios, brands, and MCNs. What we pretty quickly realized was the people who were successful were making great use of social media. Often we found that they were spending more time building audience on social than even creating content on a daily basis. This was a big ‘aha’ moment.”
“So when we started developing a toolset, thats where we focused,” he continues. “How can we build tools that can help the nimble, social YouTuber be more efficient and powerful at what he or she is doing, and at the same time help traditional media companies and brands act like these YouTubers.”
So what does Epoxy actually do? The platform allows creators to share videos and track conversations across their social channels — specifically Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And by directly integrating with each of these platforms, creators have a better understanding of who’s watching and talking about their videos, as well as the ability to drive further views and engagement.
For instance, Bruce said that under 20% of tweets about videos include the creator’s username. That’s a lot of tweets and shares that are not being tracked. Epoxy has built a small search engine on top of YouTube and Twitter that surfaces “the most interesting
conversations” around a particular piece of content — regardless of whether those tweets employ the username.
Epoxy also provides an array of social apps that allow viewers to watch content in a way that matches the social network and device they are on. For creators, these player-pages also make it easier to drive additional views.
On Facebook, there’s a channel page that lists additional videos (curated by the creator) on the right. (There’s a similar capability on Twitter.) When people watch, comment, or like a video, it will automatically generate new stories in the social network’s news feed.
During testing, this set-up and functionality has already contributed to a 54% “follow-on view rate” across Facebook and Twitter, which means that someone has clicked through to a second video, according to Bruce.
(You might be wondering how Instagram fits into all of this. While the social network isn’t designed to drive too many views, it can serve as a great promotional platform. Epoxy allows creators to easily grab videos and cut them up into 15-second clips using the same technique you employ when shooting and sharing videos on Instagram directly.)
Available as a self-service platform for individual creators, Epoxy also wants to help enterprise companies. Some of the tools offered for such organizations, including MCNs, is the ability for multiple people to log into the same account, and for that account to oversee multiple channels and accounts.
In addition to YouTube, Epoxy’s enterprise toolset also supports video players from companies like Ooyala and Brightcove.
The company’s investors include Upfront Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Downey Ventures, and Advancit Capital.
Header image: Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle via SFGate