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Saturday, December 02, 2017

Goodbye Vidme

Remember when I kept telling all the brilliant business geniuses who were waxing entrepreneurial about the pressing need for someone to compete with YouTube that they were clueless idiots who didn't understand the first thing about that particular business?

This farewell message from Vidme I received in my email this morning was exactly the result I expected from any would-be YouTube disruptor:
We’re writing to let you know that after careful consideration, we’ve arrived at the difficult decision to suspend the Vidme site and apps effective December 15th.

What this means for you:
  •     New sign-ups and uploads will be disabled effective today.
  •     Existing videos will be playable and exportable from your video manager until December 14th, at which point they will be permanently deleted from the Vidme servers. If you want to backup any of your videos, be sure to sign in and visit your video manager and click the export button (displayed below). After a few minutes, you’ll receive an email with a link to download your exported video.
  •     All paid channel subscripitions will be suspended immediately, and subscriber-only videos will be exclusively accessible to their video owners.
  •     Any outstanding earnings will be paid out upon verification within 60 days.
  •     All Vidme paid subscriptions will cease as of today, and subscribers will no longer be billed. 
Thank you for giving Vidme a chance, and we’re very sorry that we won’t be able to continue to support you on the next stage of your creative journey. It has truly been a joy to watch people from all over the world connect, collaborate, and make new friends in this community, and we’re happy to know that many of those relationships will long outlast Vidme itself.

Wishing you the best of luck.
There is a reason I chose Infogalactic as the Alt-Tech priority. Notice that, thanks to the support from a relatively small Burn Unit, the site not only remains fully viable and operational, but the Techstars actually continue to make progress towards the Stage Two engine. Infogalactic is far more efficient and less expensive than Wikipedia and does not rely upon increasingly scarce online ad revenue, and Wikipedia is not a subsidized venture allowed to operate at an annual loss that is measured in the billions.

You can't just leap into these things and try to do what others are doing, only less SJW. You have to analyze the situation, figure out the strengths and weaknesses of what the prospective competitors a) are doing, and, b) have the ability to do, and then figure out if there is actually any productive territory that can be legitimately taken and held.

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28 Comments:

Blogger wreckage December 02, 2017 6:02 AM  

Youtube's time will come. But it hasn't come yet.

OpenID markstoval December 02, 2017 6:10 AM  

"... You have to analyze the situation, figure out the strengths and weaknesses of what the prospective competitors a) are doing, and, b) have the ability to do, and then figure out if there is actually any productive territory that can be legitimately taken and held."

Great comment. That goes for a host of things in life. You need to figure out what is going on before you just leap into action.

I have been telling my young students that one has to really figure out what they want to do, what is possible, and what is the cost of going to college in this era. Don't just go to some random college on borrowed money because everyone says do it.

We need to remind people to "look before you leap". (only get the one shoot at this life)

Blogger Dave December 02, 2017 6:15 AM  

Not quite billions but Vidme had raised $9.2 million from investors and says they still has a significant amount of its funding available and plans to announce a new product next year.

Look at what Infogalactic is accomplishing with a fraction of not even $0.2 million

Blogger VD December 02, 2017 6:18 AM  

Not quite billions but Vidme had raised $9.2 million from investors and says they still has a significant amount of its funding available and plans to announce a new product next year.

Which is great and all, but it's not NEARLY enough to even begin competing with an operation that is permitted to lose $2 billion annually without breaking a sweat.

Look at what Infogalactic is accomplishing with a fraction of not even $0.2 million

We are extremely efficient. But we do need to continue growing the Burn Unit over time.

Anonymous Looking Glass December 02, 2017 6:21 AM  

You can't fit YouTube with an Ad-based platform. You need a Freemium model a couple of billion behind you to do it. There's suggestion that YouTube might finally be in the Black, but I doubt it. They've not been the biggest money sink in the world for a few years, but Google basically got away with monstrous Anti-Trust violations for years. It's been an illegal cross-subsidization to the tune of Billions. (How much, no one but Google knows, but think at least 1-2 Billion Per Year from 2007 to 2015.)

Video is still too expensive without a heavy revenue model that goes with it. There's a few paid-sub platforms that should be coming online over the next year, but those are for already established content creators.

Actually, there was a competitor for YouTube recently. It was called "Vessel". Verizon bought it and even its tech seems to have barely been used. So even the rest of the Media sphere isn't interesting in attacking YouTube. (My guess is they bought Vessel for IP reasons, given VOD and other streaming issues.)

In technical terms, going against YouTube is like trying to start up a new passenger aircraft company. While the physical infrastructure can be rented, there's absolutely massive startup costs, and then who is your market? YouTube has de facto government approval across the world and Google will use lawyers you stop you at every turn. Bandwidth & server costs simply aren't low enough yet.

The one thing is that 4K video is pretty much the absolute max that we'll see for online distribution. Improved quality is possible, but resolution is pretty much maxed out at that point. So we're maybe 4-5 years before a really assault on YouTube is viable. Ad Hoc video is where things are going to be more useful anyway. Which means expect Periscope to get shut down by Twitter in the not-too distant future.

Anonymous Looking Glass December 02, 2017 6:30 AM  

That was a murderous failure to check my editing, haha.

"fight YouTube" and you would really need a "Freemium model with a couple of billion" in capital to fight Google.

However, the fight is more ideological than business in nature. There's already almost no money involved for groups to independently create videos for YouTube. The "Internet Video Star" is functionally dead as a career. YouTube has always been more of an ad hoc Spotify than much of anything else.

So if someone wants to spend a while to really figure out the Business aspects, the opportunity will come about in the future to do it. But while everyone sees the value in Online Video, you need to work out how to make it a profitable product. At the current cost structure, I don't think it's really possible. Another couple of Trillion rolled into Internet Infrastructure will change that calculation, though.

Anonymous Luke December 02, 2017 6:39 AM  

OT: Why was the link to AlphaGame deleted?

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 02, 2017 6:42 AM  

Youtube is Google's hobby.

When Youtube Heroes was announced you could tell that Google had finally given up on it and just turned it over to the SJWs within the company.

The constant demonetizations of the videos that offend SJW sentiment proves that it's not a serious business.

Not when your revenue is only borderline profitable to begin with. Which means LookingGlass is right, it wasn't making a profit.

PewdiePie is their biggest star and they didn't think twice about f%@king him over.

Blogger VD December 02, 2017 6:46 AM  

OT: Why was the link to AlphaGame deleted?

Because I haven't been posting there. Something had to give and that was it. Besides, I've written pretty much what needed to be written there. I'll leave it up for people to search and read. What was once a theory has now become a reliable tool, and as such, doesn't really require much discussion anymore.

Anonymous Looking Glass December 02, 2017 6:55 AM  

@8 Cataline Sergius

The real problem with YouTube is they've clearly not had a well-thought out business plan for ages. They still don't, which is the thing I don't get. They've spent a lot of money preventing certain types of disruptive bots, but they can't figure out a soft White List system and categories for Ad Content.

YT is the company where the Engineers do brilliant work, but the Management is the rejects from the MBA programs at a school you've never heard of. Which is a pretty good description of the company.

Blogger Dave December 02, 2017 6:56 AM  

Actually the Medium.com article by the Vidme co-founder is very insightful. They could've continued to raise and spend other people's money for years.

He says they're talking to some creator-focused companies that are looking at possibly incorporating their technology; who knows maybe there is an application for the technology that Infogalactic could come up with.

Blogger Akulkis December 02, 2017 7:12 AM  

It doesn't matter how brilliant the engineers are, if management is incapable of understanding what is going on, even in the most simplified terms, because the only thing management is interested in is "intersectionality," then they will NEVER operate in the black. Bad management is it's own reward.

Anonymous Looking Glass December 02, 2017 7:27 AM  

@12 Akulkis

YT's management could be worse, but I think "short-term profit seeking" has really hurt them. They don't want to do White List systems for monetization or a semi-walled garden. They don't want to incentivize the the most profitable content to appear via Categories. They don't want to put the onus on the User to flag certain things properly if they want monetization.

Actually, it's run almost exactly like the Obama Administration. You can't plan anything if everything is ambiguous micromanaging. No one they can bring in some revenue but they can't actually make a profit.

Blogger Daniel Paul Grech Pereira December 02, 2017 9:28 AM  

The success of Infogalactic is instructive to up-and-coming programmers like myself. Great operational and technical work being done there.

Blogger Student in Blue December 02, 2017 10:14 AM  

5. Looking Glass
The one thing is that 4K video is pretty much the absolute max that we'll see for online distribution. Improved quality is possible, but resolution is pretty much maxed out at that point.

Disagree. It's quite possible that VR video will be streamed in the future, which should require a slightly higher resolution, ignoring the increased bandwidth needed in general.

Also, the physically bigger the displays, the more possibility for demand of increased resolution to occur. So if displays the length of an entire wall become commonplace, people are gonna start wanting a higher resolution than 4k.

Blogger Unknown December 02, 2017 10:37 AM  

It is going to take someone such as Netflix, Amazon who has a natural user base and can integrate a YouTube competitor with an already existing streaming system people are spending time "on".

The other option might be if Twitch would add the ability to UPLOAD pre-recorded content for things like educational videos, self-help stuff etc. in addition to the live-streaming model they have now. It is the only other user content streaming service that is big and growing besides YouTube.

Anonymous Ages December 02, 2017 12:52 PM  

You can't just leap into these things and try to do what others are doing, only less SJW. You have to analyze the situation, figure out the strengths and weaknesses of what the prospective competitors a) are doing, and, b) have the ability to do, and then figure out if there is actually any productive territory that can be legitimately taken and held.

I was not really a Vidme user, but they did have some innovative ideas initially, and at one point were objectively a better platform than Youtube, which was really a pretty clunky mess a few years ago (and still is in many ways).

But they didn't keep up with the industry's evolution, they couldn't keep up with Facebook as they rolled out video tools too, and so it was not sustainable. It's not really fair to shit on Vidme as if they were morons, they just didn't have the ability to sustain it. Doesn't mean the effort was wasted; others will learn from it and hopefully something better will take YouTube's place.

Anonymous Ages December 02, 2017 12:54 PM  

Also, the physically bigger the displays, the more possibility for demand of increased resolution to occur. So if displays the length of an entire wall become commonplace, people are gonna start wanting a higher resolution than 4k.

Only because they're stupid. For the vast majority of home users there remains no reason for anything greater than 1080p. 4k+ is just a proxy for dick measuring unless you are a film editor.

Blogger VD December 02, 2017 1:17 PM  

It's not really fair to shit on Vidme as if they were morons, they just didn't have the ability to sustain it.

That's absurd. You don't try to compete with someone who quite literally doesn't need money or users to survive.

Blogger Matthew Funk December 02, 2017 2:55 PM  

You can't just leap into these things and try to do what others are doing, only less SJW

Sure you can. It is merely unwise.

Blogger Student in Blue December 02, 2017 6:25 PM  

Only because they're stupid. For the vast majority of home users there remains no reason for anything greater than 1080p. 4k+ is just a proxy for dick measuring unless you are a film editor.

We'll see who's right. The really was no pressing need for 1080p, much less 4k, but it's still there and being sold.

Anonymous Looking Glass December 02, 2017 8:13 PM  

@20 Student in Blue

We went up in Resolution because of the Color Depth available and pixel size optimization. Even 1440p adoption is very slow in the Computer space. 4K is the last stop for home TV panels. Sure, they'll keep going up for a while, but the majority of "displays" being sold today are Mobile Phones. You could put a 16K display on one and it's functionally no different than a 4K display.

Unless you're sitting less than 4 ft from a TV or you need over 100 inches, 4K is the max you'll see in the Home Theater space for any normal sales. HDR and improved "Image Quality" is where this will be going. Each resolution bump allowed for better image quality & color space technology. It wasn't the resolution that made the image "better" in most cases. It was the ability to display a better image.

Blogger Thucydides December 03, 2017 12:08 AM  

The operating environment is going to get more complex with the end of Net Neutrality, and ISP's throttling bandwidth. You thought the antics of Youtube, Google, Twitter and Facebook were bad enough if you were identified as a target for SJW's? Now try to get your message out when it takes 10 minutes to upload your page or site....

This is going to need a huge full court press to break, but resource wise the enemy is sitting on a dragon's horde, so simply storming the walls isn't going to work. The right combination of new technologies, work arounds, alternative channels and other "attack the network" methodologies will eventually be found, but may end up being something so unlikely that no one would have predicted it today.

Anonymous Looking Glass December 03, 2017 1:49 AM  

@22 Thucydides

There will be no throttling. The major ISPs have put themselves on the hook for that in their statements in the push to move regulation from the FCC back to the FTC. It also turns out that the ISPs could opt out anyway, from some of the court cases around the "Net Neutrality".

Don't accept Google's propaganda.

Anonymous Alt Blockchain December 03, 2017 2:25 AM  

The blockchain will disrupt & destroy youtube. Have a look at this:

flixxo.com

Basically it's a marriage between bittorrent and blockchain. Whereas bittorrent by itself relies on begging economics (plz seed! plz seed!) to get people to lend their bandwidth, blockchain technology introduces real economics, i.e., people get paid.

The flixxo ecosystem is composed of: content creators who are paid FLX by users, users who are paid FLX by advertisers and seeders who are paid FLX by content creators. Anyone can fill any and all roles. Example: I go to flixxo.com and watch an ad, I earn FLX, then I watch a vid, I pay FLX, then I set the vid I watched to seed and earn FLX. Finally I upload a vid and set 80/20 split on revenue between myself (80) and seeders (20) and earn FLX. Finally I go to crypto exchange and sell my FLX for USD.

The flixxo.com website will act as the youtube style interface to the ecosystem. But here's the fun part: because this is an ecosystem, anyone can create their own website/app to interface the ecosystem. You can make an alt right youtube overnight with no structural costs and neither flixxo nor anyone else can stop you. All they can do is ban vids from their own interface, that's it.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 03, 2017 2:50 AM  

Net neutrality is exclusively and entirely about getting ISPs to subsidize Netflix, Amazon and YouTube.
Net neutrality was a huge change in how bandwidth was built out and paid for, and was only introduced in 2015, at the behest of democrat donors in Silicon Valley. SOmebody had to pay for the equipment, for the fibre, for the network management, for the bandwidth.

Net Neutrality was a license for companies like Netflix and Amazon to impose their bandwidth charges on people who don't want and don't use their service, by requiring the ISPs to pass the traffic along for free. It was never about charging money at the receiving end, it was about making the people who use the bandwidth pay for it.

How we've gotten to the point that people think paying for internet service on an as-used basis is unfair or destructive of freedom is beyond me.

Blogger RobertT December 03, 2017 4:45 PM  

Youtube can be disrupted just like any other business. But you have to be able to figure out how & where they are vulnerable. Where are they dropping the ball? Where can you beat them? Where is the pain point? Sweet dreams of grandeur don't count. They should have retained me. For enough stock, I'm available.

Blogger aodlord13 December 03, 2017 10:04 PM  


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