There has been tremendous change in the digital video marketplace. The market has shifted from one dominated by a small handful of digital distribution and social marketing platforms–in particular YouTube and Facebook, respectively–to a complex ecosystem of dozens of video distribution platforms, channels and apps, and numerous social marketing and audience discovery services that are all vying to serve today’s video content creator.
Just in the past few months, we have seen high-profile launches from companies like Amazon, with it’s Youtube-like Amazon Video Direct service in May, and Twitter’s unveiling of new longer-form videos and several additional enhancements to its video service (as well as Vine’s), in June. Snapchat has also made a ton of news in the space, including its massive $1.81B in financing, and an opening up of its platform the entire digital advertising industry, starting with a select set of third-party advertisers and ad-tech companies. We expect Snapchat will continue to invest more capital towards improvements to SnapChat’s video streaming service as well as begin to source and license its own exclusive digital video content.
Facebook has continued its major push into video as well with numerous enhancements to its live and on demand video services to enable creators to reach its more than 1.69 billion monthly active users. In fact, the company said at a conference hosted by Fortune in June, that Facebook content could become ‘all video’ in 5 years. In the last three months, we have also seen additional news from Instagram, which has continued to invest in its video capabilities, and, Vimeo, which announced the acquisition of VHX as a move to build out a more robust subscription and transactional service for its creators.
All this is happening while major media companies and digital-first platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu are spending billions of dollars per year for the production and licensing of exclusive content. Companies like Fullscreen, Defy Media, AwesomenessTV and many others who used to describe themselves as “MCNs” on YouTube, are also getting into the game. These new players are seeing incredible value in producing and licensing premium video content that can be distributed widely across YouTube as well as their own and third party apps and sites, Facebook, and subscription services like Amazon Prime and YouTube Red.
What all this amounts to is that we are in the early innings of a new era for video creators. The digital video ecosystem is growing incredibly fast while also becoming immensely complicated and fragmented. But with this increasingly complex ecosystem, comes tremendous opportunity for independent content creators like never before. The proliferation of mobile devices and connected TVs along with all of the various distribution services and channels, from advertising supported sites and apps to high end subscription services, has created a market dynamic where there is insatiable demand for more and more digital video content. And the continued explosive growth of social networks, along with the vast array of data generated by those platforms, has created avenues to reach and engage nearly 2 billion consumers who might be interested in specific videos. Facebook today streams more than 100 million hours of video per day and Snapchat sees an average of 10 billions video views daily. What’s more, each day, more than 100 new creators on YouTube cross the 1000 subscriber mark. That’s incredible!
In this new paradigm, the Age of the Creator, independent video producers have emerged at the center of a new digital video marketplace that is exploding before our eyes. Creators can now find opportunities to reach a larger audience and make more money from their content regardless of their who they are or where they are located. Whether they are amateurs or professionals, whether already wildly successful or just starting off, whether located in entertainment strongholds like Los Angeles, New York and London, or located outside of those major media hubs, in cities like Atlanta, GA, Columbia, MO, Denver CO, or even Mexico City, Mumbai, Singapore or Berlin, talented independent video creators can and should be using new technologies and new tools to allow them to take advantage of all these new opportunities before them.
ICX Media was formed just over a year ago with a mission to use technology, artificial intelligence and data analytics to empower independent video creators to grow their audiences and monetize their work in today’s digital video ecosystem. We’ve made significant progress since first securing a seed financing in the Spring and I’m excited to announce that our beta program is now open to all video creators.
Up until now, only a select set of customers and partners were granted access to the ICX Media beta. This was intentional as we were still very early in development with only a limited set of features and functionality. The feedback and help these early testers provided has been instrumental in development and progress–thank you!
This news coincides with the release of several new features and updates to the ICX Media platform:
Creator Dashboard: A first iteration of our Dashboard feature is now live. The intent of this feature is to offer creators deep, cross platform insight and understanding into their content and the consumers viewing their content. Today, creators will be able to see such information as the total views, followers, shares, comments, likes and other related information about their content across all connected distribution platforms. They will also begin to see useful information such as who their most valued fans are, as example, and specific insights, recommendations and opportunities for creators. The bulk of our development in the coming months will be focused on expanding the level of data and intelligence available.
Distribution and Marketing Integrations: ICX Media beta now allows content creators and video producers to distribute media across YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo, and promote their videos on numerous social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN. This is just the start. We are working fast and hard to continue adding more and more integrations to further extend the reach of our platform across web, mobile, connected TV channels, sites and apps.
This roll-out of our public beta is just a small step in ICX Media’s long journey to creating an entirely new kind of media company. In the coming months, we will be announcing a number of exciting partnerships we have put into place with various production companies, brands, agencies and media companies, and we will be adding new functionality to our platform on a weekly basis.
With the amazing growth in the digital video ecosystem over the past year, even with all of the complexities and complications that growth has brought to the market, there has never been a better time to be an independent video creator. Incredible opportunities abound for talented creators, and we’ll be riding right along with them.