The CA based Monetizemedia is going after User Generated Content creators.
The name Monetizemedia rang a bell for me for a while, though I couldn’t remember why. So when Alan Sherin, the company’s Director of Marketing, left me a lengthy comment on my post about meta aggregators, I took the chance to have a chat with him.
I was surprised to hear that the company exists only for two years, and has 40 full time employees. With all the noise around them, I wasunder the impression they were much bigger.
The company targeted mid size content owners – ones with libraries of video content that cannot monetize it. Its main offering revolves around creation of online channels, DVR platform, VOD offering and content protection. After creating the channels, the company brings in advertisers and share revenues with the content owner.
Soon they realized that the major problem their content owner have is how to drive traffic to their site. So they created a neat little product called VeZoom. The product has three layers:
1. Search engine – video search engine, that its main advantage when compared to competitors is that it is international and not focused on the US market.
2.Myvezoom – a Netvibes style homepage, for RSS distributed video content only.
3.VeZoom Pipe – a desktop application where user choose general categories and search terms, and get content pushed to their desktop.
The concept behind these layers is to cover different user needs – starting from actively looking for specific content, through personalizing a homepage, to passive content consumption.
The product is still in beta stage, and several basic functions are still missing (such as inline video presentation), but as this technology is commoditized, I believe they will quickly close this gap.
The real question is how can a company create a competitive advantage in this segment. One strong point for MonetizeMedia is that they are not relying on the new field of UGC as their sole revenue source. It is an advantage as they already have a revenue generating business. I also liked the fact that they are approaching global markets, a topic I wrote about its importance in the past.
However, one should take into consideration that the company is geared toward a different market segment as a primary revenue source. Indie content creators have different requirements then mid size content providers MonetizeMedia approached till now: while mid size content providers want to protect their content, use pay per view schemes, and control their media flow, Indie content creators are looking for exposure, multiple distribution channels, see DRM as a dirty word, and no one will pay to watch their content, at least at this stage.
Furthermore, Indie content creators have a close community and it is not a simple thing to penetrate it with new offerings.
There are some who believe that a company has a unique DNA that enables it to compete in the market. I wonder if MonetizeMedia DNA can be versatile enough to play on both markets.