Five principles for building the next great video platform
Michael Segal is a senior accompany at Bessemer Venture Partners, where he focuses on early-stage investments in buyer video, SaaS and e-commerce. He previously co-founded various buyer startups, including Skylight Frame and Curio Road.
Video is feeing the internet. It accounts for virtually 75 percent of internet traffic, with Americans consuming more than an hour of online videos each day more than three times as much as in 2011.
Established platforms like YouTube and Netflix capture a large portion of this traffic, but there also are a number of new musicians employing the video opportunity. Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, all initially photo platforms, are enthusiastically espousing the video format, and agricultural crops of new video-first platforms like Twitch and Musical.ly are growing exponentially.
As investors, we look for directions that expose future opportunity. Increased stomach for video contributed Bessemer to invest in great corporations like Twitch, Smule and Periscope. As video continues to grow, we will continue to invest. In understanding where the next opportunity may lie, a few questions we ask ourselves is: What principles do transformative new video platforms have in common?
Recently, we hosted Spotlight: Video, an happen that brought closer commanders in online video to aid answer this question( and others ). Through their views and the talks with up-and-coming video startups, weve purified a determine of five principles crucial to success in the video space.
While no such list could be comprehensive, and every regulation has exceptions, "were about" aroused to contribute our thoughts to the ongoing discussion about the future of the medium.
If your framework is driving in user-generated content( UGC ), creating a video should take seconds , not minutes
New platforms aspire to have millions of consumers creating and sharing videos in a uniquely compelling path. Most fall short of the millennium development goals for one simple reason: Its incredibly difficult to create an interesting fragment of content quickly.
Your platform may have a astonishing array of boasts that allow imaginative show, but if the average consumer cant make a great video in 30 seconds or less( ideally a lot less !), possibilities are they never will. In a nature in which tens of thousands of apps compete for buyer attention, reducing the time to value( i.e. the time necessary to a user to create something delightful) is critical.
For example, Snapchat lets you readily record video, string it together and contribute filters and words, making complex content in seconds with got a couple of taps, as illustrated byDJ Khaleds lost at sea story.
Source: DJ Khaled/ Snapchat
Video creation is a self-conscious process
The better platforms minimize the social pressure and lower the barrier to creation.Making a video can be a stressful and challenging process no one wants to make a piece of content that is uninteresting or embarrassing.
Platforms like Twitch and Musical.ly cleverly lower the bar to make. Instead of an harassing blank video canvas, they give you a simple induce, such as evidence yourself playing your favorite video game or lip sync to your favorite song that becomes it easy-going to produce fun, shareable content. All great video platforms are ingenious about belittling self-consciousness.
Fun boasts like filters, stickers and disguises make it easy-going to make entertaining content. They also promote in the moment content that isnt means to polished.
Not all platforms are UGC-driven
If your framework is driving in influence builders, build for them. Our first two principles specifically address UGC platforms, in which a significant portion of users must create and share content for the network to thrive. Not every platform takes this form. Some rely heavily on influence builders, a tiny subset of users who spend time and effort to create refined content for the rest of the community to watch and enjoy.
The first step to building a influence creator-centric platform is to acknowledge that goal: Platforms can flunk by trying to cultivate a UGC network with a produce average consumers will never embrace.
Secondly, prioritize captivating influence builders from day one by promoting them and enabling them to build, manage and involve a wide-ranging audience. Top builders have various platforms make their own choices and are musing about where they centre their efforts. A new platform is required to provide a novel path to employ a builders prevailing audience, allow a direct relation with love and give significant new viewership. Without these elements, top builders may not be encouraged them to jeopardy trying a new platform and without their contents, the platform wont thrive.
Vine was a good example . The challenge of creating a great video within six seconds is difficult. Nonetheless, some people, like King Bach with more than 16 million adherents, are great at it, and Vine did a awesome position at captivating these influence builders to their platform.
Dont replenish a leaky bucket
Build a platform that can retain purchasers before places great importance on captivating new users.As investors, weve evidenced countless examples of platforms that developed a ingenious viral mechanic that caused traffic to skyrocket, simply to come back to clay or even fade only a few weeks or a few months later. The ground for this structure is simple-minded: These corporations activate a rise engine( or get some bombshell promotion that hurls them into growth mode) without first guarantee that the produce is compelling enough to retain users over time.
Churn itself is not inherently evil. Even the best platforms assure a large number of users try their app and never yield. But what recognise top platforms is that their user retention cohorts flatten speedily, with at the least 20 percentage of users employing every week or month in perpetuity. Leaky bucket platforms often assure cohorts put to
Investing in long-term retention can be a time-consuming and challenging struggle, and often one that is never fully complete. But platforms that dont invest in retention from day one jeopardy sudden death: They can show impressive rise amounts, and even attract major investments, but may not be viable in the long run.
Musical.ly is a good example. They started by constructing a awesome video creation ordeal centered on lip syncing. Had they stopped there, their success might have been flash-in-the-pan. Instead, by places great importance on retention from the beginning, and layering in boasts to get consumers returning daily, they created a persistent platform.
Video platforms often start as creation tools
Enduring platforms speedily move beyond creation to become content and social networks.Video platforms often start simply as an instrument that permits the creation of a new type of video. The better platforms, knowing that a simple creation tool may not be sufficient to create a highly involved network, move past this stage and incorporate one of two additional produce layers: a content detection method or a social diagram( sometimes both !).
The opportunity to follow acquaintances or influencers, and to expend interesting content even when you dont feel like making your own, is the key operator of daily or near-daily practice of top video platforms.
While building effective content detection and a social diagram into a new video platform is much easier said than done, corporations that succeed in achieving this goal are more likely to join the grades of the most valuable platforms on the internet.