The market to produce, distribute and/or enhance small-business videos has intensified in recent months, as TurnHere, Denver MultiMedia, DMC, Spot Runner, Mixpo, BuzzSpot, EZ Show, Spotzer and others have competed (often via third-party Yellow Pages and city guides) to land accounts. Now comes Redwood City, California-based SpotMixer, which has raised $8 million from Kleiner Perkins and others.
Launching next week at Kelsey’s Marketplaces event in Seattle, SpotMixer provides a combination of production tools and distribution capabilities that allow small business to easily make videos on an “all you can eat” basis and distribute them. The service is launching with a subscription “plan” that ranges from $59 to $79 per month, with fees declining with longer commitments. Additional link fees are up to the media partners.
SpotMixer has been developed on the back of One True Media, a consumer-oriented video service aimed at families and young adults since its launch in February 2005. That service, which cost $3.99 per month, simplified the process of producing a video and sending it to other platforms. It has attracted 3 million registrants since launch.
The new service was developed by company founders Mark Moore and John Love, who noticed that a number of SMBs were piggybacking on the cheap tools to create their own videos, and embed them on YouTube, e-mail, their own sites, etc. Moore and Love speculated that SMBs probably needed something a little more “heavyweight.” The founders have since been joined by Yahoo! Search Marketing veterans Kathleen Farley and Brett Gardner, among others. There are 20 people at the company.
A fairly unique aspect of the service is that its reseller partners, such as Yellow Pages and city sites, can “seed” their sites with generic but category-specific videos for each listing, in hopes of upselling them to a specific solution. This approach has been tried a few times with Web sites, but video is a new frontier.
It’s an attractive offering and well-priced. The questions we ask ourselves are whether small businesses will make their own videos, even with easy to use tools; whether they will ever want to produce more than one or two, even producing holiday specific videos; and whether they will develop an aggressive media program if left to their own devices. The transferable, cross-channel approach is also an interesting question mark. AgendiZe and Mixpo have been pushing hard on this front.
I suspect what we’ll see evolve is a segmented marketplace, with different SMBs using different kinds of services at different price points. It seems likely some resellers will soon be pitching fully produced videos and media plans by TurnHere, Denver MultiMedia and Spot Runner, and a second, non-conflicting tier of video enablers, such as Mixpo, BuzzSpot, EZ Show, Spot Runner (again) and now SpotMixer. Eventually, the gap will fill in, right?