If you had stopped by video sharing site VSocial before today you may not have thought much of the service, its sparse UI made it look like just one more also-ran. This week the site relaunched and is making a serious play to monetize customized white label video players. With $1.5 million in funding from Ron Conway and Consor Capital, VSocial is aiming for a mid market price point on short form video.
It may well be able to monetize on the growing demand for video networking sites, but I don’t know how happy to be about that. Early showcase examples of the company’s products don’t look terribly stable, well designed or appealing to me. Perhaps with recent funding the offerings will be improved but the company has been around since 2002. The service looks to me like it was just waiting for something like GooTube to yield a mass of companies feeling left behind and wanting a quick and dirty video networking component.
That’s just my judgment, though. You can click through to the product showcase examples below and decide for yourself.
The company offers three different products. The first is called VConnect MyBrand. This level of service allows publishers to add their logo to the player, watermark over the video and “call to action” link back to their own site. The MyBrand player costs $75 per month for business use. VSocial’s advertising partner can run preroll, post roll or text ads with a 50/50 revenue split between VSocial and the video publisher. Here’s VSocial’s showcase customer for this product, amateurgolf.com. The player looks good.
The second product is called VConnect ProPublisher. The company calls this level of service a turnkey solution for video enabled microsites. This service costs $500 per month plus a 30% ad revenue cut. The showcase example of this that VSocial has to offer is a Chevy page on gas consumption reduction. None of the videos ever loaded when I went to the site, it’s on a VSocial domain and if it’s a turnkey microsite some one designed it very poorly.
The top tier of service is called VConnect for Enterprise Communities. It’s a preconstructed social networking service with video at the center of the strategy. Every part of site functionality at Latino video network Voytv.com is provided by VSocial. There are quite a few features and no shortage of ads. The service costs between $5 and $20 thousand per month plus 15 to 20% of ad revenue. This might be worthwhile for companies seeking an easy video/social networking solution but you’d have to give it a long, hard look before deciding this this is solid software.
I think there is a clear demand for products like these. I also think that there are other people who are doing it better. Check out KickApps (our coverage) and watch here for coverage of a better looking video network solution in the very near future. When copyrighted video detection technology becomes commoditized and is a standard component of these kinds of white label video networks – then we’ll know they have really arrived.