By Sahil Patel
Video curation and discovery service Waywire believes it can be the “program guide” for digital video, and in doing so, solve the video discovery problem that continues to plague the industry.
To accomplish this, Waywire has been rolling out curated video channels, some tied to individual content brands and others that focus on specific genres, topics, or interests. Users are able to follow these channels via a simple user interface (see below), which helps them create a personalized guide to access the content they want to watch from the sources and curators they are interested in following.
Waywire’s network has grown to hundreds of channels since the beginning of the year. The service isn’t looking to slow down anytime soon, either, announcing this morning the addition of a bulk of new channels and a new chief operating officer to oversee all of the growth.
Eighty-five new brand-focused channels are now available on Waywire, including those for Al Jazeera, RT America, DanceOn, and Maker Camp, as well as several for YouTubers like MakeupbyMandy24 (real name: Amanda Steele).
In addition, Waywire has expanded its roster of expert curators to 25. These individuals are responsible for managing Waywire’s network of curated content hubs, which go beyond simply offering video content around a particular brand or topic. In addition to video, these channels feature relevant social and RSS feeds and photos, as well as several community options to keep followers entertained and engaged.
Waywire is careful to manage its network of channels to ensure a healthy balance between “web-discovered” branded channels and curated channels, says Steve Rosenbaum, CEO of Magnify Networks, which acquired Waywire last fall.
That said, Waywire’s hand-curated offering is a major part of the service’s growth strategy. Even with 25 curators on board, the service will continue to add 2–4 new curators a week through the fall, says Rosenbaum.
Overseeing all of this will be new Waywire COO Todd Tarpley, who joined the service a few weeks ago. “We were looking for someone who had a background in cable television and quality niche publishing,” says Rosenbaum. On this front, Tarpley has plenty of experience, having previously served as GM of digital at Meredith’s Parents Network, VP of online at Nielsen, and VP of interactive at A+E Networks.
Those are not the only updates from Waywire, though.
On the monetization side, Waywire has also been awarded a patent for its “Pre-Roll Everywhere” technology, which enables clients that use the service’s curation platform to run ads as interstitial units before a third-party video is pulled up and starts playing. The PRE patent builds off Waywire’s “Video Channel Creation” patent, which makes it possible for publishers, brands, and websites to create collections of video content that they can curate, share, and monetize.