Pivotshare helps media creators and publishers sell their digital video content direct to their audiences, on our platform or your own site.
Robin Good's insight:
Pivotshare is a web service that allows any author or independent publisher to create a professional-looking video venue where to showcase, organize and (optionally) sell access to video and audio content.
Video channels created on Pivotshare will have a personalized URL such as robingood.pivotshare.com, and you can further brand the channel with your selected profile picture or logo and your favorite background.
Video channels can be displayed as "showcases" or "libraries" depending on the quantity of material you have available, can be embedded on any web site and can be easily viewed across all types of screens and devices, from desktop to mobile.
On Pivotshare you can upload directly .MP4, .MOV, .SWF, .FLV, .AVI, and .MP3 files and organize them into discrete collections. You can add names, descriptions, relevant tags as well as decide how you want to make this material accessible.
You can for example let everyone see freely certain content, while at the same time making a "tip jar" facility available and setting your preferred minimum tip level. Or you can decide to set a "monthly subscription price", rather than a "rental" or "purchase" fee.
The U.S. newspaper industry has lost more than $40 billion in ad revenue in the past decade — over half of that in the last four years alone — and Google’s ad revenues are now more than twice what the industry pulls in.
Robin Good's insight:
From the original article by Mathew Ingram on Paidcontent.org: "...ad revenue falling off a cliff about a decade ago, hitting a brief plateau in the mid-2000s and then free-falling over the next several years.
...The speed with which billions of dollars in advertising revenue simply evaporated over the past decade is incredible.
...Of course, all of that advertising revenue didn’t simply disappear overnight. So where did it go if it wasn’t going to newspapers? It went online, naturally — and the second chart shows the biggest beneficiary of that exodus: namely, Google."
Intruiguing hypothesis and data correlation. Must read. 8/10
Andrew Chen asks why we are so bad at predicting successful startups. He writes: "...we’re all so bad at predicting what will work and what won’t. I’ve written about my embarrassing skepticism about Facebook, but hey, I’m just a random tech guy.
For the folks whose job it is to professionally pick winners, the venture capitalists, they aren’t doing very well either.
It’s been widely noted that the venture capital asset class, after fees, has lagged the public markets- you’d be better off buying some index funds."
In his view, much of the disappointing results are due to the "generic startup advice" being offered online. He writes that generic principles cannot be effectively applied to all situations. And he is right.
But more than anything Andrew stops at analyzing what are the kind of people who often provide such predictions and strategic advice:
"[There are] two categories: hedgehogs, who view the world through the lens of a single defining idea and foxes who draw on a wide variety of experiences and for whom the world cannot be boiled down to a single idea."
"...Silver clearly identifies as a fox, and contrasted his approach to the talking head pundits that dominate political talk shows on TV and radio. For the pundits, the more aggressive, contrarian, and certain they seem, the more attention-grabbing they are.
Rather similar to what we see in the blogosphere, where people are rewarded for writing headlines like “10 reasons why [hot company] will be killed by [new product].” Or “Every startup should care about [metric X]” or whatever."
"The solution to all of this isn’t easy- to be a fox means to draw from a much broader set of data, to look at the problem from multiple perspectives, and to reach a conclusion that combines all of those datapoints."
"Over my 5 years in Silicon Valley, the biggest lesson I’ve learned from trying to predict startups is calibration. They talk about it in the video above, but the short way to describe it is to be careful with what you think you know versus what you don’t."
The Startup Knowledge Base is a curated content archive focusing on startup topics. All content included has been reviewed, vetted and tagged as to provide only the cream of the crop.
This resource has been created for two groups of people:
those who are new and need to get up to speed quickly.
those who are experienced entrepreneurs and want to stay of top of their game.
The objective behind this free project is to provide an easy path to learn what needs to be known for a startup without being sucked in by the latest article or hype. Attention has therefore been given to quality content independently of its published date.
From the original site: "We've screened the web's best startup advice, summarized, categorized, and tagged it for you."
210 articles covering a time span of five years, completely summarized.
All original articles and authors are properly credited.
Free / pay with a Tweet or FB post or donate something.
Thanks to Marty Zwilling on StartupProfessionals for distilling some of the key traits that have made Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google such uniquely successful companies.
From the article intro: "According to many technology pundits, including Phil Simon, in his book “The Age of the Platform,” these four exemplify the rise of platforms with applications as a business model, rather than a single product or service. Whether you believe his conclusion or not, you can learn a lot from the lessons he offers on how to build a competitive business model today."
The article provides ten key principles utilized by this "gang of four" to reach their broad business success.
Here my favorite four:
1) Act small. “Bigness” and all of its attendant problems – bureaucracy, politics, infighting, and the like – put any business model at risk. Bureaucracy and excessive democracy kill speed. Shake organizations up often to avoid stiff and inflexible management structures.
2) Be open and collaborative. Startups as well as large companies must be open to all sorts of new ventures, partnerships, and offerings. Make application programming interfaces (APIs) open and freely available to developers, partners, and consumers.
3) Move quickly and decisively when spotting a niche. Don’t confuse patience with inertia. Waiting too long means that an opportunity may disappear permanently – or someone else may beat you to the punch. Temper expectations, but make the bet.
4) Use existing tools. It’s time consuming, expensive, and simply unnecessary for every company to create its own tools and base functions (planks) from scratch. By using outposts, businesses increase serendipity, exposure, and cross-pollination.
Voomly is a subscription platform that can help you turn your expertise or reputation into a business. You can create a newsletter, an educational series and offer…
Robin Good's insight:
If you are looking for an easy-to-use subscription platform that allows you to easily sell your know-how or expertise, by sending periodic email messages or pre-scheduled autoresponders that deliver your goods, Voomly has everything you need.
Powerful messaging platform with private Q&A
Automatic subscriptions and billings
You keep 90% of every sale, no hidden fees
Voomly is an email marketing and distribution platform paired with the opportunity to create a personal offer page and to manage all administrative issues automatically.
The article magically sets out what I have always thought was the most likely business model for MOOCs – the loss leader.
In 220 words they lay out their reasoning… they currently have 2000 online students. They want to have 10000 students. One can imagine that they hope that of the 300K 8000 students not currently registered for ‘for pay’ courses at the institution will decide to pay money to have a longer relationship with their institution."
From the original article by David Cormier: "...your ability to market online courses could increasingly be a question of whether you have the kind of faculty that people want to take a course with.
If i’m looking to learn something about connectivism, and I see George’s name on half the things that are written about them, I’m going to be tempted to take the connectivism course with george at Athabasca.
If he’d published all those things in closed journals, it seems less likely that they would get found..."
youtube is taking applications for its new subscription program - but will people pay for youtube?
Robin Good's insight:
Adage reports:"YouTube is prepping to launch paid subscriptions for individual channels on its video platform in its latest attempt to lure content producers, eyeballs, and advertiser dollars away from traditional TV, according to multiple people familiar with the plans."
"The company has invited a small group of content producers to create a series of pay-per-view channels accessible to the public for a monthly fee between $1 and $5.
The first batch could be available as early as April 2013, and should not exceed 25 channels. Revenue from subscriptions would be split 45-55."
The Economist reports on the slow but unstoppable revolution in education, where free courses and MOOCs seem to be both expanding the present course offerings while competing with their traditional expensive courses. But is it really so?
Read some of these passages from this recent article entitled: "Learning New Lessons":
"Some of Europe’s best schools are determinedly unruffled. Oxford says that MOOCs “will not prompt it to change anything”, adding that it “does not see them as revolutionary in anything other than scale”. Cambridge even says it is “nonsense” to see MOOCs as a rival; it is “not in the business of online education”.
Such universities are likely to continue to attract the best (and richest) applicants who want personal tuition and the whiff of research in the air. They have other benefits too, including sublime architecture, better marriage partners and a huge career boost.
For these places, MOOCs are chiefly a marketing opportunity: once customers taste the lectures, they may pay for the rest of the bundle.
But elsewhere change is likely to be more disruptive."
"...One potential casualty is the cross-subsidy between teaching and research.
MOOCs will make it far harder to overcharge students, especially undergraduates, in order to subsidise research that nobody else will pay for. Some universities will have to specialise to survive—perhaps dropping indifferent lecturing or teaching to concentrate on something else, such as brilliantly set and marked examinations. Online platforms will also allow clusters of universities to pool resources, such as providing first-year undergraduate lecture courses..."
"Even if MOOCs can coin sound academic currency, they must also make real money. Though marginal costs are low, designing enticing online material is costly. Non-profit ventures such as edX want to break even. Others have investors to satisfy.
The first way of generating revenue is a “freemium” model, in which the course is free but the graduation certificate is paid-for. Udacity, for example, charges $89 for an exam invigilated by Pearson VUE, an electronic-testing firm; its parent company is a part-owner of this newspaper.
A second model is to charge potential employers a fee for spotting suitable recruits among the students. Coursera charges for referrals to its best students.
A third option is to license online courses to universities to help them improve their offerings to students. Ms Koller foresees a blended approach, in which universities mix MOOCs and in-house provision to expand the range of degrees they offer."
If you expected the New York Times to be a failure, you'll have to think again. Not only its digital subscription is profitable but it is also become quite a relevant money-generating revenue channel.
From the original article: "More than a year and a half later, it’s clear the New York Times’ paywall is not only valuable, it’s helped turn the paper’s subscription dollars, which once might have been considered the equivalent of a generous tithing, into a significant revenue-generating business. As of this year, the company is expected to make more money from subscriptions than from advertising — the first time that’s happened."
"Despite the metrics, the larger significance of the Times’ newfound subscription wealth is that readers, not advertisers, are now more directly responsible for the Times’ business — minus a few stubborn bloggers."
"What if news organizations confronted the reality that nearly all media will be 'social media' a decade hence?
Robin Good's insight:
If you are wondering what the future of news may really look like, my advice is to give a very good read to this fantastic article.
In it, Nicco Mele and John Wihbey report the sad state of the news industry and illustrate the facts that indicate an alternative, high-value path that can be taken for the future. The tracks are already there, paved by some pioneering orgs and by a bunch of small individual personalities on the web.
This article distills the very own business and development approach I have been using since 2008, when I have decided to move away from depending on Google-based advertising revenues and toward the creation of a service dedicated specifically to develop information-based micro-businesses focusing on individual personalities.
Here, from a ton of interesting content I have excerpted 10 key thoughts that stand out for me as being fully representative of the new model that is emerging for the future of the news business (curators, subject-mater experts, individual with a real expertise read closely).
1) ...terrifying signs of the decline of the news industry.
...three of America’s most esteemed papers for sale — The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times...
2) News revenue remains overwhelmingly dependent upon advertising, but the radical connectivity of the Internet has greatly diminished both the scale of newspapers’ reach as well as the value of advertising.
3) What if journalists became like your doctor, dentist, or teacher — people who provide a valuable service to you, and whose name, voice, and personality are more intimate? ...The question then becomes how to create a social presentation layer that wraps around news — preserving the integrity of the product but updating its interface to fit with human behavior in the digital age.
4) Without an identity, much journalistic content will increasingly be swept around the Internet in an anonymous blur of sharing and finding through networks, with little regard for the source or the labors taken to produce that news.
5) ...re-design the newspaper to be a platform for talent across multiple media. ......what if news outlets decided to flip their model, so that the editorial staff was not subservient to the brand, but the “brand” became a platform for talent?
6) ...outlets, like Boing Boing, are making money largely based on the brands of several smart, interesting personalities. Many of the “blogging networks” are built around aggregating traffic across different online personalities. One could name dozens of examples where a single blogger or news personality is driving substantial traffic. ...we’re already likely to see a “new dance between top talent and media brands,”... “If brands are successful at assembling enough talent,” ... “they’ll succeed because they provide easy entry points for us consumers.”
7) The future of news organizations is a lot of [diversfied] revenue sources — maybe as many as 30 or 40 — and none of them account for a substantial stake of the organization’s income.
8) In March of 2008, Kevin Kelly famously put forththe theory of 1,000 true fans as a potential future for music. Find 1,000 dedicated enthusiasts willing to pay you $100 a year for your music, and then you don’t have to worry about selling albums.
9) Why are more journalists not doing the same — and creating more kinds of editorial products to sell — while cultivating a paying fan base?
With the decline of trust and loyalty in large institutions, it is increasingly hard to imagine people in the coming decades subscribing because of loyalty to an institutional Big Media entity. Yet it’s easy to imagine them wanting to fund several people whom they trust to bring them information they care about.
10) ...research to date shows that the average news consumer is a creature of habit, circling back to the same two to four big websites to get their news. But this will not continue in perpetuity... “Elite” news consumers — ... already organize their consumption this way, around key Twitter and RSS feeds, following lists of personalities they like or admire. The broader public will ultimately begin to shift in this direction.
Shoplocket is a web service, available since over a year, that allows anyone to sell products online in a very simple and straightforward way.
Here's is how it works. You first enter details for the product you want to sell, and select from a variety of designs for your web listing. The "sale page" is now ready to be published on the web and to be easily shared on all major social networks.
Finally, as orders roll in you get free automatic notifications inside your email inbox.
Other key features include:
Analytics See how many times your product is being viewed. Always know where your sales are coming from.
Cross Platform Compatibility Embed ShopLocket products anywhere you’d embed a Youtube video including sites based on Facebook, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, Posterous.
Templates choice ShopLocket comes packed with a variety of styles for you to choose from.
Shipping & Taxes ShopLocket gives you the option to configure shipping fees and add a tax rate.
Product Variants Selling tshirts? We let you add a product variant (For example: Size, Color, Style etc)
Inventory Tracking Option to turn on Inventory Tracking and publicly display quantity remaining.
Timed Deals Option to turn on an Expiration Date or Countdown.
N.B.: Shoplocket keeps only 2.5% of your sales price, while PayPal and Stripe both charge 2.9% + 0.30cents for each sale made through their platform.
"Gumroad makes selling stuff as easy as sharing stuff."
Robin Good's insight:
If you are looking for additional or alternative ways to sell your digital and physical products online, I suggest you give a good look to Gumroad, which allows you to securely sell any product (ebook, video, recordings, etc., as well as physical items), accepting all major credit cards and keeping 95% of the earnings for yourself.
Gumroad, which has been available since more than a year, makes it very easy to set up a "sale pages" for each one of your digital products. You just provide a title, a description, an optional image and the price you want to charge. You can upload any sort of file from your computer as long as it is not larger than 4GB.
For the price, you can chose any price between $1 and $1,000, but you can also chose to let users establish their own, while setting only a base price starting reference.
Gumroad charges 5% + 25¢ of each transaction. For example: If you sell a digital video for $10, you keep $9.25 and Gumroad gets $0.75.
Gumroad also allows you to launch special discounted offers, by sending selected customers to a special URL or providing them with a special discount code to be used on the official sales page. In addition you can also set a maximum number of discounted items to be sold before the offer auto-expires.
N.B.: a) If you want to sell a physical album, T-shirt, or other physical product Gumroad allows you to collect full shipping information for your buyers.
b) International sellers are all welcome. Gumroad is supported in 190 countries.
POPexpert is a very cool new web service which allows anyone to promote and offer his expertise as an online consulting service, while being able to manage customers appointments and reservations, private video sessions, as well as all payments.
The beauty of the service, is in the ease with which you can curate a professional-looking profile in a matter of minutes. I particularly appreciated the attention that was reserved to providing relevant features to make one's own public profile as credible and professional as possible. To help experts provide "social proof" of their supposed know-how POPexpert in fact provides an editable profile page in which one can list and showcase websites, articles, books, video clips or other content material that can demonstrate one's own abilities as well as selected endorsements from your LinkedIN contacts.
But the story doesn't end here.
On the same "profile" page that POPexpert lets you easily build, you get an integrated public appointment calendar in which you can set available days and times and your clients can book available slots.
Finally POPexpert integrates a full one-to-one video conferencing feature allowing you to meet with your scheduled customers and to see and hear each other, while being also able to text chat and to share any image or URL needed.
"How do you survive and thrive in this fiercely competitive economy? You need a whole new entrepreneurial mindset and skill set. Drawing on the best of Silicon Valley, The Start-Up of You helps you accelerate your career and take control of your future–no matter your profession."
A fantastic presentation, well designed, illustrated and rich of meaning, valuable messages and insight, illustrates the ideal path for the do-it yourself entrepreneur and highlights what are the key elements that can make his path always a successful one.
The man behind the popular app discovery service says he'll spend $13 million in recent funding to personalize app recommendations and get to 100 million users.
Robin Good's insight:
Curating and selecting apps, with the goal of helping users find the best solutions for their needs is a business that pays.
AppGratis an app focusing on this very need and founded by French entrepreneur Simon Dawlat as he was still a student, has discovered that not only there is a large need for finding the most appropriate app for carrying out specific tasks, but there are also a few ways to make this effort pay back itself nicely.
"Apple hails the 775,000 apps on its App Store, but a sea of choice can end up being a glut for end users who struggle to choose the mobile service they really need.
In the last few years, AppGratis (pronounced ‘gra-tese’) has stepped in to solve the problem.
The free “app discovery” service offers users one free app a day from the App Store, and now has 10 million users, of which 3 million use the app everyday. It also makes more than $1 million a month in sales by taking a cut from in-app purchases after its promotions — something of a testament to the freemium model and AppGratis’ negotiating tactics."
How it all started as recounted from the founder: "We are helping developers get distribution in the App Store and helping users discover new apps. We started as a newsletter which had daily deals and daily picks, and from there we became an app in 2010."
"We have 30 people in Paris. Half the team is people who will do the dirty job of finding the apps and picking up the gems."
How do they make money?
"We make money by partnering with a big brand. So if you think about the Nike Plus fitness program, we’re going to help bring this app and offer a two-month free subscription to the service. We will be working with guys like Disney who want to push new games to complement a new movie release. [This is AppGratis' main revenue source, charged on a cost-per-install basis.]
And for smaller developers we do revenue shares. With app developers who monetize their app directly we’re able to share the extra revenue we bring them by bringing an extra million users to their user base."
Must read for curators and entrpreneurs alike. Lots to be learned from this. 8/10
Mainstream media newsroom chief editors are often looking for exclusive and unique news material for their readers but beyond their network of contacts and traditional content suppliers, they have no easy way to find and purchase, at a low-price, citizen-shot images and footage of relevant events.
"With their mobile phones and cameras at hand, random witnesses often happen to be closer to the action than editorial teams and journalists."
SellNews is an auction platform for news media which allows anyone to make available for a price any image or video clip that may be of interest to mainstream television, newspapers and other media outlets.
Can you curate Amazon products, review and rate them and then make a profit by reselling them from your site? It looks like this business model may have some potential.
Apparent proof comes from TheWireCutter.com, a site I have recently discovered and which does essentially that. Under 20 and more product categories TheWireCutter professionally selects and reviews the most valuable and interesting products while providing lots of good information, references and insight.
All links to products are tagged to identify TheWireCutter as the affiliate reseller, and therefore Amazon pays a commission for any of the products that readers of TheWireCutter will eventually buy.
Great example of how to make the affiliation model pay while curating existing commercial content / products and adding lots of extra value.
The options we have for reading magazine journalism in the digital format are pretty sad. We live in an era of self-driving cars, augmented reality, and we can keep a map of the entire planet in ou...
Robin Good's insight:
Hamish McKenzie, on PandoDaily, paints a possible future for "an end-to-end reader experience that centralizes, simplifies, and at the same time diversifies the consumption of longform journalism, while offering deep social features that increase readership and bring magazines up to speed with the digital era."
From the original article: "The first problem is that there is an app for each magazine.
To subscribe to the New Yorker, Wired, Vanity Fair, GQ, The Atlantic, Details, New York, and Time, you’ve got to have seven different apps, many of which are bloated. Some issues of Wired, for example, have weighed in at 500MB each. And what do you get inside? Aside from the occasional animation, or supplementary audio and video, they’re basically just digital facsimiles of the paper product. Worse – you can only get the stories if you get the whole magazine.
So here’s an idea for how to do it better and make money from it.
Break up the bundle.
Present stories on an individual basis. Do to the magazine what iTunes did to the album, but do it with a Spotify model. And put it all into one app.
In short: build a platform not for magazines, but for magazine stories.
Here’s how it works. You have an app called something like Mag Reader. When you open Mag Reader, it shows you a list of the latest works from your favorite publications, as well as ones that align with your interests, or the stories currently most talked about on social media."
Unbundling content is very likely the way of the future.
Wikisway is a web app which allows you to search the Crunchbase database of startup, entrepreneurs, companies and investors, and to visualize relationships between people, investors and companies in a navigable visual graph.
Wikisway, places startup information in context by visualizing how people, places and things are connected in a single-page web visual application which makes it easy to gain understanding and new insights about any startup related company or person they are interested in.
I’ve noticed that, like President Obama, I’m increasingly reading news on my iPad, in much the same way I used to read newspapers. I pick up my iPad in the morning and read the New York Times over ...
Robin Good's insight:
Paywalls are gradually changing, giving way to more osmosis between what is inside them and what can be accessed and shared by those who haven't paid up for it.
Erecting rigid barriers around news content may not be the best strategic move if your competitors cover the same ground and interests that you focus on.
On PandoDaily, Hamish Mckenzie reports that the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both offer great examples of how to manage paywalls in a more effective fashion, by utilizing them more as “passes” "that give subscribers access to a publisher’s content wherever that content may be", rather than being rigid gates where no trespassing is enforced in a military way.
As a matter of fact "both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal let anyone read their content for free, provided they find it via Facebook, Twitter, or Google. They know that it’s easy to get around the paywalls in other ways..."
"The “paywalls” we’re seeing today, however, are different and place more emphasis on the first syllable of the word. Call this Phase Two of the paywall. The newspapers want you to pay, but the walls are lower and more permeable.
...They know that it’s easy to get around the paywalls in other ways – such as deleting the extraneous code pasted onto the end of a story’s URL – but they figure the costs of “losing” the revenue opportunities on those stories are lower than the gains they make from the people who prove willing to pay a subscription."