Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Revver Forum Heats Up

I've been having fun reading the Revver forum, but since I forgot my password I haven't been able to jump in. Interesting that the Forum has become rather hostile. Mostly frustrations with copyright approval, communication by Revver and payments.

I frankly haven't been active in many forums, so I don't know if they tend to generate activity by critics or if Revver is facing legitimate pressure from frustrated users.

In any event, I'm hoping Revver works all of this out. Since there are very few popular alternatives to Revver, our near-term success (making money on videos) is dependent on Revver addressing some of the concerns raised.

Interestingly, Revver does have a PR firm on retainer, but I think the technical folks have been the primary spokespeople addressing a lot of these concerns.

Revver Hires Head of "Media Partnerships"

In an interesting move, Revver just hired David Tenzer (from Creative Artists Agency) to head up media partnerships. Tanzer will develop strategic relationships with companies throughout the entertainment industry for Revver. His previous work included packaging TV projects.

What does this mean? Some theories:
1) Revver will try to create a model that is Web 2.0 but doesn't dissintermediate the major entertainment players. This, of course, is a totally different strategy than most online video sites.
2) It could be a content play. Revver may be looking to fill its library with more content- however I would suspect a major player would want more control and a greater percentage of ad revenue (and even more likely they'd want to sell their content not give it up for small ad dollars).
3) It might just be an advertising play. Look at the major advertisers on Revver... Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and the Chappelle DVD. Revver's team has strong relationships with the LA entertainment scene and that's a differentiator.

Any more theories?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Invite Dave Chappelle to Your Block Party

Interesting promotion with Dave Chappelle show and Revver... I wonder if Dave will come to my block party... lots of whining kids? Note- this is the first (or at least one of the first) press releases Revver has released. It's on the map!

Promotion from major Hollywood studio and video-sharing service encourages users to submit funny and creative personal video content

Los Angeles, CA (June 9, 2006) – To celebrate the DVD release of Dave Chappelle’s Block Party on June 13th, 2006 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Revver.com (Revver Inc.) today launched “Invite Dave Chappelle to Your Block Party,” a national online promotion encouraging fans to submit funny, creative personal videos through the contest’s Web site, http://www.blockpartycontest.com.

In the spirit of Dave Chappelle’s trademark comedy, contestants will upload their videos humorously begging the comic superstar to attend their fictional block party.

After uploading, entrants are challenged to find creative ways to market their entries, including posting their creations to social networking sites, blogs, distributing them virally and spreading the word through email.

The top 5 videos (as determined by number of viewers) will receive a “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” DVD, and the Grand Prize winner will win a 4-day, 3-night expense-paid trip to New York City.

Capitalizing on the growing prominence of online content sharing, Revver Inc. connects content owners, viewers and advertisers in a sponsorship marketplace. Revver affords users the opportunity to earn money based on the popularity of their content, while offering advertisers widespread, unconventional exposure online.

“The explosive growth of online video sharing is creating opportunities for individual creators, and this contest is a perfect example,” said Steven Starr, CEO of Revver. “For anyone out there who wants to show off their humor and creativity, now is your chance to do it in front of millions of people and ‘Invite Dave Chappelle to Your Block Party’.”

Available for the first time in an unrated, extended DVD version on June 13, 2006, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party features over 20 minutes of additional material not shown in theaters plus more than 45 minutes of bonus features that give viewers a chance to go behind-the-scenes of the most outrageous event of the decade. Directed by Academy Award® winner Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Dave Chappelle’s Block Party follows the funnyman as he treats a Brooklyn neighborhood and a group of out-of-towners to a hilarious, no-holds barred, once-in-a-lifetime celebration. The unforgettable daylong party that results is loaded with humor, as well as a historic showcase of today's most influential musical artists, including Kanye West, Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Common, Jill Scott, the Roots plus the legendary Fugees, who reunite for the first time in eight years! Dave Chappelle’s Block Party is available in Unrated and Rated DVD versions; both are priced at $29.98.

About Revver

Revver is the first online service that truly leverages the social power of the Internet by supporting the open distribution of video content through the creation of a sponsorship marketplace. Revver connects video content owners directly with advertisers and allows their work to be superdistributed online and to mobile devices. Revver’s proprietary technology matches individual videos with advertising, supports sharing through a network of syndication partners and viral tools, tracks performance, and rewards content owners and syndicators with a percentage of the revenue generated from advertising. Revver’s contextual advertising capabilities also connect advertisers to specific demographics with a unique collaborative learning algorithm, which maximizes ad performance. For more information, visit www.revver.com.

Posting Your Video is the First Step (Not Last)

In case you haven't noticed, Revver is receiving more videos than ever. As it hasn't officially launched, there's been little traffic - mostly generated by word of mouth or some small press mentions. I've been excited about this June transformation of the site, but I had a reality check this morning. I think the site will be cooler, but I don't see Revver doing aggressive promotion. Remember it's an intermediary that facilitates the "view and ad serve."

Initially I was perplexed about how Googleheads received more than 15,000 views on YouTube, and just a few hundred on Revver. Then I started to realize that I'm still learning about some key missing pieces of Revver.

1) As content providers we need to do more than create great content. We need to help get it visible beyond Revver. Maybe that means treating YouTube as the "tease" and Revver as the primary distribution. It means creating topical, viral material and promoting it. I get really excited when blogs mention my Crackberry video, but most of them point to the YouTube version. I wish they'd point to the Revver one, but I can't be channel selective on my uploads- after all, they'd never know Crackberry existed without YouTube.
2) We need to hope that some of the smaller video sites decide to use Revver as a content and revenue source. For example, why wouldn't a Break.com serve its videos via Revver? It can still wrap addditional ads, but it gets three advantages: a) No uploading/hosting/serving fees, b) an additional source of content (that obviously needs to be mined), and c) A new revenue source via an affiliate fee. BTW- I haven't figured out how to make a mint off of CubeBreak yet, but my traffic has exploded in the past week.
3) YouTube is a game-changer because it was first to mindshare with a simple way to upload and view videos through broadband. That's a difficult thing to compete against. But there are room for multiple players. My hope is that Revver's new site will create a few things:
a) A Revver.com that gives us easier ways to find and promote our videos to portals
b) More distribution partners
b) An ability to dive deeper into the Revver content with more focus
c) A ratings system that helps prioritize videos
d) A working Paypal (couldn't resist).

If they're on time, we're not far from seeing Revver's logo without the b-word behind it. Can't wait.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Mentos and Coke or Pepsi Explosions on Video


I'm guaranteed a 30% increase in visitors to Revverberation simply by using the words mentos, coke, pepsi and explosions. It's quite hot right now. Here's a site called Eepy Bird that's powered by Revver. Currently it's devoted just to coke and mentos, but based on the name and e-mail newsletter signup it would appear they've got visions beyond explosive soda bottles.

These folks are making a fortune very quickly on this fad. But nothing satarizes it like this Enlish woman whose had just about enough!