Victorious, a New Mobile Startup, Wants to Put Creators in Control
/ Jun 25, 2014

victorious

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.

cracklecleaners2

Crackle Sets Return Date for ‘Cleaners’

cartoon hangover manly

‘Adventure Time’ Crew Members Debut...

ViralGains

Nas Invests in Viral Video Marketing Firm ViralGains

July_Vi_Chats

Recap! VideoInk Presents… Diversifying the Video Ecosystem

HuluRemote

Hulu Makes Full Episodes Available for Free on Android Devices

NETFLIX, INC. BOJACK HORSEMAN

Saddle Up for BoJack Horseman’s Comeback… on Netflix...

dapper_laughs

British Vine Star ‘Dapper Laughs’ Scores TV Show with ITV

Corey_Moss

EXCLUSIVE: Hearst Hires Corey Moss to Grow Digital Video Business

NBCDigital

NBCU Brings USA and Syfy to Xbox for the First Time

spotxchange2

RTL Group Takes Majority Stake in SpotXchange for $144M

NewsToKnow

Thursday 7.31: News to Know

chris_jericho

Chris Jericho Adds ‘Web Series Star’ to List of...

Legendary_pictures-2

Legendary Entertainment’s Tom Lesinski Steps Down

Assassins_Creed

‘Assassin’s Creed: Unity’ Shows Expert Parkour...

Show_collage

Call of Duty and X-Men Top YouTube Trailers Leaderboard

JoePenna Headshot

YouTube’s Joe Penna Makes the Move to TV

elizabeth_banks_1

Elizabeth Banks Books College Comedy Series with Paramount Digital

KevinSpacey_UmaThurman

Filmmaker Competition Ends in YouTube Space LA with Uma Thurman

ted_sarandos

Gotham Awards Industry Tribute Goes to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos

Tune In to #VIViewpoints! We’re Live!

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 11.47.20 AM

Activia’s ‘La La La’ with Shakira Becomes Most...

NetFlix

Netflix Pays to Directly Connect with AT&T

brooklyn decker

Brooklyn Decker, Ethan Embry Join Netflix’s ‘Grace...

FRANCE DAILYMOTION

Dailymotion Adds Content from AOL, Complex Media, Maker Studios, More

ICMPartners

Talent agency ICM Forms ‘O Labs’ with Manatt Phelps...

nerdist

Nerdist Pokes Fun at YouTube Commenters

SD_Comic_COn

Comic-Con Delivers Fan-tastic Celebration of Digital

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 4.58.05 PM

Season Two of ‘ISA Variety Game Show’ Starts Tomorrow

Company_logos

6 Key Takeaways from Just for Laughs’ ComedyPro

Vessel

Jason Kilar’s Vessel Targeting Premium Short-Form Video...

James_Brown

Pluto.TV Set for a James Brown Binge

AppleTV_CNBC_Fox

CNBC and Fox Now on Apple TV (If You Subscribe)

Netflix ARD

As Netflix Plans German Expansion, Local Broadcaster ARD Hopes...

shawn mendes

Vine Star Shawn Mendes Quickly Climbs to the Top of iTunes

Brittani

Follow the Lives of Top YouTubers…on AOL

raindance web fest 7-29-14

Raindance Web Fest and Dailymotion Hold Web Series Competition

NewsToKnow

Tuesday 7.29: News to Know

AmazonBox

Amazon’s Video Shorts No Threat to YouTube

BeauWillimon_Seated

‘House of Cards’ Writer Beau Willimon Talks Career...

TheFineBrothers

The Fine Brothers’ React to 1 Million Subscribers in 5 Days