September 5, 2013
Brooklyn-based VHX is developing a service that enables video makers to sell their videos to consumers. The company launched last year with a video from comedian Aziz Ansari, and since then has picked up 60 videos to sell from a wide variety of people, some famous and some not. While YouTube is a popular platform for uploading videos, VHX hopes to stand out by allowing anyone the opportunity to upload and sell their content.
VHX will be primarily funded by 3.2 million dollars from Union Square Ventures, along with money from investors such as William Morris Endeavor, Lerer Ventures, Lowercase Capital and Alexis Ohanian.
Although there are other resources online to sell videos, such as Apple’s iTunes, VHX contends that its platform is unique in that it plans to allow anyone to sell anything, and will therefore be more flexible than competitors. Additionally, the company says it will offer a better split than the standard 70-30.
“It’s worth noting that the idea of well-known people selling direct to their fans, which looked like a new paradigm shift after Louis C.K.’s 2011 special, seems a little less urgent now, because it turns out that not everyone is going to be as successful as Louis C.K.,” reports AllThingsD.
Ansari is selling his next special via Netflix, and C.K. did his latest special via HBO, although he will soon upload it and sell it on his own site as well.
“And other people have looked at the DIY video market and decided there’s less there than they thought. IAC’s CollegeHumor/Connected Ventures group, for instance, spent a bunch of time last year preparing to launch their own video production/distribution platform, but scuttled it after deciding there wasn’t enough money and/or margin there,” explains AllThingsD.
However, VHX co-founder Jamie Wilkinson is confident that the company can succeed by servicing “tail” and “torso” content makers, not just notable performers.
“There’s a huge amount of content that those guys aren’t thinking about,” he said. “But that’s the stuff that’s been super successful for us — it’s low touch, with a great audience.”