Mobile startup Victorious launched in June 2014 with the pitch that it could help YouTube creators get on mobile and own their audiences there for free. At launch, the company said it was working with creators like Shay Carl, Boyce Avenue, and Ryan Higa.
Now, Victorious is finally ready to talk about the apps it’s been building for its creator partners, starting with those for Higa and the online news network The Young Turks. The apps, owned and operated by the creators, offer exclusive content (like behind-the-scenes footage), various monetization models, and a place for fans, not just creators, to, well, create.
“I think that one of the things that our creators are really ecstatic about is the opportunity to provide a hub for their fans to interact much closer with the creator and, even more so, interact with each other,” says Sam Rogoway, co-founder and CEO of Victorious. The aim of Victorious mobile apps is largely to give fans a place to really “develop relationships, share their own content, and express themselves beyond hitting the like button and leaving a text comment,” Rogoway adds.
Higa, for one, noted a desire to better connect with his fans since “there’s only so much you can do through commenting and tweets.” His Victorious app will provide a one-on-many way for him to reach his fans.
That’s certainly one way to work with Victorious, according to the company. But how about with The Young Turks, a network that includes multiple individuals with whom fans might want to individually interact?
The Young Turks will also be launching their own app, but according to Rogoway and Bing Chen, co-founder and chief creative officer at Victorious, the news network is “debating right now whether they’re going to have multiple apps within the network of one.” They’d prefer for creators like The Young Turks to start off with a “central hub for their universe,” from which they can grow.
Victorious’s co-founders also describe The Young Turks’ app as a way to “incubate new talent.” The hope is that the creators will use Victorious-built apps to engage and interact with their fans directly, which in turn would encourage fans to post and share content themselves on the apps. This could provide a nice pipeline for networks such as The Young Turks to find engaged personalities who could become the newest members of its growing network.
Overall, Higa and The Young Turks’ mobile apps are “lean-forward” and interactive, eschewing a model of pure video distribution. That also begs the questions, how will creators monetize on apps that are so full of a variety of content, including that of their fans?
“The different ways in which creators do make revenue, those are all fragmented,” says Chen. “Ecommerce, subscription, ads…so we bring all of this together.” Victorious lets creators determine how they want to make money from their content, giving them the tools to put in ad units, sell merch, and/or showcase branded integrations on their apps.
Throughout the next few months, other creators will launch apps with Victorious, including individuals like Freddie Wong, Michelle Phan, DeStorm Power, and Jenna Marbles and networks/companies like Jukin Media, DigiTour, and Cartoon Hangover.