Revver Forever Not

revver

In the online video platform wars, some got big, and some totally failed their entrance. In terms of failure, I am talking about Revver. Revver has been broke since the day I started using it: They were the first to offer rev-share with video producers, but they never were able to figure out a model to turn this into a profitable company.

Today, I took five minutes to check out Revver and see what had changed. Nothing’s changed, as if time froze in there: Same design, same bugs, same lack of velocity, same no sign of non-spamming life, even my ad revenue counter is still stuck on the same numbers (I uploaded close to 70 videos on Revver).

Last time I connected to my account on Revver was well over a year ago. Since then, I just missed two or three messages from the admins (mentioning various technical problems) and one comment on a video that’s not mine. There hasn’t been a single friend request. The unofficial Revver blog managed by Kevin Nalts last posted on February 2007, and connecting to Revver’s official blog is not possible as I write those words.

If a store doesn’t get traffic, it closes: Tokoni is doing it, Oosah did it, and the whole deadpool in Techcrunch did it. So when will it be Revver’s turn?

Youtube, Revver, Viddler: Bigger, older, faster

viddler

Most people I meet, even tech savvy individuals, are very confused by the multitude of different video platforms that exist out there. Usually, it’s Youtube, and then the long tail of video platforms. So in this post, I will methodically compare Youtube, Revver< and Viddler to explain the basic differences. I am leaving Dailymotion and Metacafe on the side simply because I have not been a power user of those two video platforms. I won't elaborate on their APIs, because it would be too long and too complex. So this post is mostly for non-developers curious to know the differences between those three video platforms.

Youtube

youtube

Quality

Possibility to play video in HD on the site, and by tweaking the embed code.

Social features

Channel subscription, friends, video response, comment thread, channel comment, star rating, favorite, re-blog, share on other social networks.

SEO

Google’s universal search SERPs only include Youtube videos, and Google is 80% of the search market. No further ado.

Monetization

Partners program, limited to popular Youtubers, hard to get in the program OR distribute partners’ videos and get Adsense revenues.

Embed player

Very limited, can customize only the frame, no possibility to add a link, Youtube logo overlaying the video, flash (haven’t tried to play with all the flashvars).

View count

1 view = 1 video started by IP address.

Video analytics

Views chart, popularity rate, source of views (basic), demographics (basic). Sites linking to the video, honors for each video.

Additional video features

Easy mobile upload, annotations, audio swap, customizable homepage.

Personal comments: Since Youtube is by far the most populated video platform of the Internet, it’s easier to grow video views. The vlogging community is still vibrant despite heavy trolling. The lack of rev-share program makes it very unattractive for video creators looking to make a little money out of their production efforts.

Revver

revver

Upload

10 to 12 hours (sometimes more), credit info.

Quality

No HD

Social features

Channel subscription, friends, video response, comment thread, star rating, share on other social networks, download.

SEO

Great ranking in Google’s Blog search.

Monetization

Rev-share program, mostly Adsense displayed + embed other creators’ videos and get a share of the revenue (payment through Paypal).

Embed player

Ok customization, Revver logo not imposed, personal logo in player, choose default embed size, colors…

View count

1 view = 1 video started by IP address.

Video analytics

Overview, revenue stats by video and per month (on a chart).

Additional video features

View video in Flash, Quicktime, and shareable under CC rights. WordPress plug-in.

Personal comments: The uploading time is really annoying, the platform is not so reliable, and embed videos often slow down page loading. However, it is the best rev-share program I have tested so far, and they have a responsive customer service.

Viddler

viddler

Upload

10 minutes transcoding, simple or batch uploader, easy instant webcam recording.

Quality

No HD.

Social features

Channel subscription, friends, video response, in-video comment thread, star rating, share on other social networks, download, add to a group, add tags on others’ videos.

SEO

: None.

Monetization

Existing rev-share program, not working. Possibility to use Amazon partner ID.

Embed player

Color customization not working properly (but there). Add your own logo overlaying the video and specify your own onclick url. Autoplay option. Chose any image capture as thumbnail.

View count

Counts video played, and embed views. 1 view = 1 video started by IP address.

Video analytics

Views, impressions, favorites, urls where video is embed.

Additional video features

No specific additional features.

Personal comments: Too bad the rev-share program is not working. Also, they used to have a vibrant vlogging community, but it seems that the community is dying, mostly because of Tubemogul that overflows the site with videos of creators that are not even participating to the site. Obviously, Viddler wants to grow its traffic, but since they have no SEO strengths, I don’t see why they let Tubemogul act like a community-killing spammer, since all it does is dilute the site’s personality without getting traffic back.

Revver Broke – Change Video Formats To Change Revenue Models

revver

Revver is looking for generous souls to help them get out of a supposedly $1 million debt. The company had declared a few months ago they had reached $1 million in revenue shared with video creators. We now know they didn’t have the money that they re-distributed.

Once again we are the spectators of an online video company that is failing to provide video creators with a solid and lucrative distribution model. The incentive of a 50-50 deal was quite attractive though. Lonelygirl15 switched to Revver, the DietCoke-Mentos video was distributed on Revver…

If videos are not profitable on the Internet just yet for independent content creators, it is for the simple reason that film formats haven’t experienced a profound change. Hollywood is paying millions to find solutions, but lack to reconsider their own film production models. This situation will remain the same as long as a movie is represented by a single file. Downloading a streaming movie online is really easy thanks to wares like Zamzar. As long as video distribution platforms are not looking at other ideas like video atomization, we can’t expect big changes from the online video distribution industry.

Introduction To Video Atomization

video formats

In the actual trends of online video, startups focus on many different and crucial dimensions of the video business:

  • Visible Measures focus on providing a robust analytics platform for video distribution businesses.
  • Seesmic focuses on bringing videos to our online social interactions.
  • Blinkx is a leader in video search.
  • Youtube is the emperor of user-generated video.
  • Revver has pioneered in bringing ad dollars to content creators.
  • Hulu is trying to figure out a profitable business model for distributing big budget movies online.
  • Kyte empowers content creators’ channels.
  • Veeker bridges your mobile videos to your online networks.
  • And so on…

I see something missing there. None of those companies focus on changing the format of the video to create new consumption styles. If you seriously consider the way we consume media today, it is mainly through small screens. We prefer streaming videos to save space on our hard-disks. We have portable media players to watch a clip while we wait for the bus or when in line at the post office.

Podcasts never reached the heights expected for the simple reason that behind a micro-media format, the content was the same. People were recording boring 10-minute clips that had only 30 seconds of interesting content. Take Robert Scoble’s Podtech show. The guy gets to meet all the cool crowd of the Silicon Valley. However, sorry to say that, but the video quality sucks! It’s boring, slow, unexciting, with a shaky hand filming, an unorganized content… Scoble is popular so 2.0 entrepreneurs like to be in his show. However, I was doing the same kind of low-quality video until recently, and let me tell you that my interviewees were not really excited with the results.

My point is that Scoble’s videos could really hit the jackpot if Podtech realizes that videos need to be remodeled before being put online. Furthermore, instead of putting the whole file raw in their database, maybe they could splice it into mini-files, making the video’s content more directly accessible to the viewers.