Victorious, a New Mobile Startup, Wants to Put Creators in Control

/ Jun 25, 2014

Victorious launches mobile apps with The Young Turks, Ryan Higa

Ask anyone within the YouTube creator ecosystem about their biggest pain points in building a business, and they will undoubtedly point to how: A) They don’t own their audience, and B) They need to be on mobile.

Now a group of veteran new-media executives, including several who have spent time at Google’s video giant, are launching Victorious, a mobile publishing platform that enables creators to do both — for free.

Backed by a reported $13 million from a group of investors that include Kleiner Perkins and Lowercase Capital, Victorious is promising to give control back to the creators. This begins at the design stage, with talent having full control over how their apps look and what features they offer, according to Bing Chen, chief creative officer of Victorious.

Chen was recently hired by the startup after serving for years as YouTube’s global head of creator development and management. “Every artist is different, and we want to make sure that their apps reflect that,” he says.

In addition to distributing video, photo, and text content on the apps, Victorious will also enable talent to directly interact with fans in multiple ways.

There are some features you have seen before, including direct messaging and polling. But Victorious is also interested in the social nature of the relationship a creator has with his or her fans, as well as how those fans interact with each other. For instance, the platform will not only allow fans to chat with each other, but will also enable them to create content of their own and share it on the app. Overall, there are “dozens and dozens” of engagement and community features coming to Victorious, though not all are available at launch.

All of this is a direct result of the first issue plaguing most creators — that they essentially “rent” their audience from the site that hosts their videos. To ensure that the platform actually meets the needs of creators, Chen says Victorious has been consulting with stars such as Michelle Phan and Shay Carl to develop and design its features.

On the monetization front, options include advertising, in-app purchases, and e-commerce.

And again, Victorious will be available to creators — not just on YouTube, by the way, but also “influencers” on Vine and Instagram — for free.

So how does the company plan to make money? According to Chen, Victorious will get a cut of revenue generated from ad sales, purchases, and other transactions on the platform. Talent will get a “lion’s share” of the revenue, Chen says, though it will also be on a sliding scale — meaning the better the talent performs, the bigger the share he or she gets.

“I don’t want to overstate it, but getting people interested in owning and operating their own platform that is mobile first — with deep, interactive features — is not the challenge for our company,” says Dean Gilbert, executive chairman of Victorious. “The challenge is building an amazing product that’s sustainable, where creators want to publish every day, and where fans are actively engaging.”

To accomplish this, Victorious is banking on the resume of its executive team.

In addition to Chen, there’s co-founder and CEO Sam Rogoway, who previously sold the travel social network TripUp to Sidestep/Kayak and was behind “Braindex,” an interactive show that was nominated for an Emmy. Rogoway’s other co-founder, company CTO Michael Todd, held the same position at OpenX.

Gilbert, meanwhile, is no stranger to the online video space. He’s a former VP and global head of content and operations at YouTube. He’s also advised and invested in many companies that you have heard of in the space.

Victorious has a solid head-start, too. The company says it’s already working with Phan, Shay Carl, Ryan Higa, and the music group Boyce Avenue.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


  • Graham Finch

    Uh huh, sure.
    After seeing the partnership-pandering cesspool that YouTube became, nice try.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.40.20 AM

Disney Scrambles Up a New Hip Webseries

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Netflix Releases New ‘BoJack’ Trailer;...

Dailymotion

Vivendi Finalizes Purchase of Majority Stake in Dailymotion for...

Ooyala

Ooyala Adds Process Power With Nativ Acquisition

League of Legends

eSports Gaming & Gambling Platform Unikrn Takes $7 Million...

Digital video industry news today

Tuesday 6.30.15: News to Know

Break Movies

Break Movies signs licensing deal with Paramount

CAA Signs Bart Baker

“King of Parodies” Bart Baker Signs with CAA

Starz Arabia kickstarting SVOD in Middle East

OTT Revenue in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa is on...

Mr Robot

Mr. Robot Scores Big for USA Network with Online Pilot Preview

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Meerkat to Embed Streams for Shark Week; Another...

New Defy Fiat series Bigger Is Better

Chris ‘Big Black’ Boykin Drives a Fiat in New...

Digital video industry news today

Monday 6.29.15: News to Know

Reuters TV iPhone

A Peek Into Reuters Live Video Syndication Play with Mirror Image

Amazon_Catastrophe

From The UK With Love and Snark

Arianna Huffington 3-2-15

HuffPost Revs Up For TV, Mobile, Social and Global Video Play

fox logo

Fox Networks Group Taps Former Sky Deutschland CEO as First-Ever...

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Morgan Spurlock Doc on Amazon; Netflix Sets...

cinedigm

Cinedigm Invests in Shout Factory, Will Reboot Its OTT Video Channel

feeln

Hallmark’s SVOD Service Feeln to Produce Weekly Talk Show...

subway original series on hulu

New Season of Subway’s Scripted Series Debuts on Hulu,...

VideoInk_Cognito_Banner_300x250

Is Verizon Really Well-Positioned for the Streaming TV Business?

Digital video industry news today

Thursday 6.25.15: News to Know

verizon

Verizon Adds Scripps Channels to Its Upcoming...

transparent renewed for season three

‘Transparent’ Gets Third Season, Soloway Gets...

Mobile video on different screens

Viewers Are Watching Longer Content on Smaller Screens (Report)

Van Halen's backstage rider

Web Series Wednesday: See What Van Halen Drinks and Patti Smith Eats

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Grateful Dead Concerts Will Stream on YouTube;...

Sweety High collabs with Radio Disney

Radio Disney and Sweety High Are Making Web Content for Tween Girls

lionsgate

Lionsgate Hires Seth Laderman to Run Its Comic-Con Streaming...

Tyler Ward started his music career on YouTube

How Cover Songs Gave Tyler Ward His German Fans…and a...

HBO_image

HBO Is Sampling New Series ‘Ballers’ and ‘The...

lohanthony

YouTuber Lohanthony to Star in New Indie Film ‘Miss...

Digital video industry news today

Wednesday 6.24.25: News to Know

elvis-nixon-kevin-spacey

Amazon Nabs Its First Big Original Film, the Kevin...