Spidvid finds niche in collaborative video creation

Toronto tech startup company Social Collaborative Media Inc., is using social media to connect video creators with various professionals and offering them collaborative tools to help them manage projects.

The company’s collaboration site, Spidvid, also provides user access to easy-to-use tools that allow them to post multiple video projects online, open up for bidding various portions of the project, distribute videos and measure outcome. To date, the two-year-old site has a community of 4,000 members and logged over 2 million video views through social media marketing and media channels.

How it works

“Make video together,” is the slogan of Jeremy Campbell, founder of Social Collaborative Media Inc. He describes Spidvid as an online social meeting place for video creators and their collaborators.

“Spidvid empowers video creators and talent to connect, build teams, collaborate on projects and produce video entertainment together,” he said.

Video creators post their projects on Spidvid and outline what parts of the project are in development. The creator also posts what talent or team members are needed for the project.

Members of the Spidvid community view the ongoing projects online and bid on the projects by providing information such as: what they can contribute; their experience and credentials; how long will it take them to deliver on the said service; and what they expect in return for their services.

Remuneration, Campbell said, can come in the form of acknowledgement in the credits, money or a combination of money and content ownership.

Campbell said Spidvid has three future revenue streams:

Transaction fees – Spidvid operates an escrow payment system that enables members to pay each other directly inside the Spidvid environment. Social Collaborative Media keeps five per cent from each financial transaction that takes place on Spidvid.

Premium features and functionalities – Spidvid charges $9.95/month or $99.95/month for features such as: the ability to manage multiple projects; the ability to have more than two team collaborators on each project; project promotion; video distribution; and analytic tools.

Partnerships – Integration of partner products such as real-time video editing tools into Spidvid.

Indie inspiration

Campbell believes Spidvid may be the only site of its kind at the moment. “Our site is unique not only in Canada, but globally as well,” he said. “We expect there are some developers coding a Spidvid-like site in a garage somewhere, but we have yet to see one pop up.”

Campbell was inspired to create Spidvid by the need of indipendent filmmakers to connect with actors and other collaborators. This was something that Campbell himself went through at one time in his career.

“I wanted to create my own quality video entertainment but I did not want to pay costly freelancers and contractors,” he said. “I searched for a video collaboration site which used new media and social media but found nothing, so this inspired me to build one.”

Campbell believes Spidvid is a great way for newcomers to get into filmmaking and for talents to share ownership in the “content pit.”

“For example, if you write scripts and need a team to put it in film, direct it, or star in it, Spidvid is the place to go to.”

Key challenges

Spidvid is facing three key challenges, according to Campbell.

Funding – Campbell is in the process of raising a seed round of funding “and that has been a challenging endeavour,” he said. Spidvid is a recent grad of the Toronto-based INCubes incubator program which has facilitated meetings with several potential investors.

Building Spidvid out – Much of the efforts and resources were focused on bootstrapping the company and Campbell needs a greater budget to develop Spidvid further. The company now has a part-time CTO partner on board whose task is to build out Spidvid.

Marketing – Budget constraints are also affecting the company’s capability to market Spidvid more aggressively. To date Spidvid has 4,000 members and 2 million video views. The company has an active Twitter and Facebook following, a filmmaking podcast, a newsletter and a blog.

“There is a ton of marketing campaigns we would like to launch, so a decent portion of the fund we are raising will be dedicated towards marketing and sales,” Campbell said.

Nestor ArellanoNestor Arellano is a Senior Writer at ITBusiness.ca. Follow him on Twitter, read his blog, and join the IT Business Facebook Page.

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