You probably saw that Supernova, an extremely apt name for the company formerly known as Viddy what with its explosion and then quick fade on the video sharing scene, has been purchased by Fullscreen, the YouTube MCN and content creator. This could make them FullScreen the newest YouTube MCN to bring their own branded app to the mobile market. Sure, Viddy was mostly video sharing, but who's to say that can't go both ways and be both a content creation platform and a content viewing platform in one.
The Rise and Fall of Viddy
Viddy was once so popular that I know of at least two other companies who took similar names to try and ride the coattails of the mobile video sharing app maker when it was dubbed as the "Instagram for video," back in its infancy. Its infancy that quickly went sour when Vine showed up and then Instagram started allowing videos and then Vine was purchased by Twitter, Facebook started reigning in the Viddy integration with the news feed, strangling it really, and so on and so forth. Reports say that it was scooped up for just $15M when it was once valued at $370M, at least, that's what the reports all say. Regardless, it's now part of Fullscreen and I have some ideas on what they're going to do with it.
Break Out of the Tube
The thing about the YouTube MCN is that it's YouTube based. Not a bad place to me admittedly, but also, not the only place to be. Granted, it is the world's second largest search engine, but something about all eggs in one basket blah, blah, blah...
Now, with the acquisition, Fullscreen has a whole new set of skills and tools that it can integrate into its platform and begin offering, including, most likely, branded mobile apps for content creation and viewing.
By that I mean, there could be a Fullscreen app that offers all of the channels from the content creators in a content discovery format with things like cross-channel promotion ads. What better way to drive more traffic to channels that you'll make money off of than by injecting the ads before content on other channels that are under your umbrella, right?
Another thing they might do is give certain content creators their own branded apps. So, for example, you could get a Lindsey Stirling or WIGS app. Fullscreen also works with some big brands, who might not have user-friendly, video-centric mobile apps just yet. Now they could easily start to offer video in an app and even allow their users to submit content back to them. That opens the door to increased interaction and engagement including user-generated content contests or events that drive growth and brand awareness.
Making Their Own Way?
Fullscreen has been tied to YouTube in a big way, even helping roll out the YouTube Partner Program. Perhaps now the company believes that it is in a place where it can start branching out and stand on the strength of its own content and platform. This could be the initial move in a long game that sees them beginning to expand their revenue by shifting some premium content off of the standard YouTube channels and into subscriptions or ad-supported mobile apps and experiences.
According to the company website:
Fullscreen's global network has over 15,000 channels, generating over 2.5 billion monthly video views and reaching over 200 million subscribers.
That's a lot of reliance on another company and platform right there. Plus, if even just 50% of the subscribers are avid fans of the content, they may very well follow it away from YouTube or even pay to get some of it. That's 100 million people, about one-quarter of the U.S. population.
Perhaps they see that the best way to grow revenue is to keep from continually giving so much of it to YouTube in the ad revenue split and start capturing those viewers and ad impressions in a place where they can control the environment more. Seems logical to me.
Now I'm not saying they're going to totally jump ship. They seem to have some strong ties to YouTube and that is the place where the most people go for video content online monthly. So ditching them altogether doesn't sound like a good move.
Either way, it seems that Fullscreen may have gotten the deal of 2014 with this acquisition. Perhaps next on their agenda is the purchase of a large online video ad network...