One of the “feel good” stories of the past year is Tube Mogul, the little start up that has come to support over 15,000 video creators as the video distribution and metrics tool of choice
Tube Mogul began when a couple of UC Berkeley Business School students (John Hughes and Brett Wilson) decided to enter a university business plan competition. They wrote a plan for a company enabling web video metrics and won a $17,500 1st prize that also came with a cubicle of incubator space in the basement of a hotel adjacent to the campus.
They identified and are attempting to resolve the following issues:
- Content in the internet needs to be everywhere
- There’s no way to aggregate the metrics
- Creators can’t make money
Tube Mogul enables the first, solves the second, and is working on the third.
Their first idea was aggregating analytics, but they soon learned that they needed to address the distribution issue to solve the aggregation problem. They launched the analytics aggregation tool in early 2006, but the company took off when they launched their free distribution tool in July 2007. From the beginning they got lots of traffic and received grateful feedback from content creators. The creators found that it saved them hours of time and offered suggestions for additional features. The distribution tool allows users, once they have established accounts on the twelve video sharing sites that Tube Mogul supports, to automatically upload video content to all the sites and to receive aggregated analytics.
As the founders note, they built it and users came. There are now fifteen thousand creators using Tube Mogul with no sign of slowing growth. Hundreds of thousands of video clips have been deployed using the tool.
The moguls at Tube Mogul are thrilled with the traction they’ve gotten, but think this is just the beginning for web video. They expect video viewership to grow exponentially and for advertising to be a key industry driver. Already creators on their system range from individuals to small new media shops to CBS. They note that with web video, an individual can write, produce, and deploy a video by him or herself.
Tube Mogul has become a key ingredient in video search campaigns, as those deployed videos show up in Google’s universal search results. Tube Mogul analytics include the ability to track not just the performance of one’s own video across multiple sites, but also those of competitors.
When asked what contributes to web video success, they stress the importance of being unique and of having a good thumbnail. Also important is having rich metadata. But good content is only 50% of the solution. Also important is promotional effort to build an audience that takes advantage of the communities active on video sharing sites.
Tube Mogul continues to offer a free product but is now launching a premium version that offers enhanced uploading, reporting, and analytics, intended for agencies and larger enterprises.
Tube Mogul has outgrown its incubator cubicle and has moved to its own offices in Emeryville, CA. The head count is up to twelve. Apparently, there’s no stopping the Tube Mogul moguls.
Bob Heyman is the Chief Search Officer at Mediasmith in San Francisco, and coined the terms “Audience Development” for building traffic to websites and “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO). The Video Search column appears on Thursdays at Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.