Founded in 2012 and based in New York City, #waywire, is a social video network that allows members to discover, collect and share content that matters to them.
Today #waywire announced initial developments in a move to disrupt video streaming and sharing unlike traditional video streaming and sharing platforms already in the market.
#waywire announced initial content creators who will use the network as a key social distribution tool, ways advertisers can utilize the paltform and how brands can reach the network’s growing community of engaged “#waywirers”.
The company intends to use the power of video to help individual voices find each other and come together to create meaningful change.
“We’re building a network around the immersive power of video,” explains Nathan Richardson, a co-founder and CEO of #waywire.
Toward that end, the new release brings the power of context to video for the first time – enabling members to discover programming that matters to them, and then organize that content by specific subject to create context. By putting powerful curation and sharing tools into the hands of every network member, the company seeks to elevate the global conversation around vital social, political, lifestyle and other topics.
“Video is a powerful tool and a democratizing force. It’s being embraced by the digital generation in ways my generation couldn’t imagine,” says Cory Booker, a #waywire co-founder and Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. “We need to remove all of the barriers that prevent these important, individual voices from being heard.”
“YouTube is a great database for video, but that popularity has also made it very difficult to find what matters to you,” adds Richardson.
Today’s release finally solves the video discovery problem and is a core benefit of the #waywire network. Starting today, #waywire network members can collect video from anywhere on the Web and then organize that content by specific subjects.
“Pandora showed us the power of context for digital audio. Pinterest showed it for digital images. And Reddit, BuzzFeed and others have shown it for links to digital content. But no one had done this for video,” says Sarah Ross, a #waywire co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer. “Further, current hosting sites restrict video bookmarking to other content located on that site. That severely limits the opportunity to create meaningful context.”
Today’s release addresses four key frustrations with digital video:
Solves the discovery problem. Using #waywire’s simple posting tools, including a bookmarklet, network members can wire videos into their collections from any site on the Web. Once part of #waywire, you can find videos by keyword search, tag search and by association with similar content in wires curated by either the company, content creators or individual users.
Aggregates a wide range of trusted sources. No more searching through 40,000 questionable matches for what you want. Content from more than 200 trusted sources is now on #waywire, an active user community is now curating content into topic wires, and 40 hours of new video is being programmed by the company every day. The new release also includes social linking tools to automatically import your videos already posted on other networks.
At beta launch, connections are available for Facebook and Twitter (including Vine). Also possible for the first time: Video playlists that incorporate video content from different Web sources.
Lets you create and curate collections around topics that matter to you. Throughout the #waywire experience, you keep complete choice and control over your collections. And a rich set of organization tools lets you curate videos among different topic wires, assign keywords and subject tags, assign a “key” video to lead off each wire, and even choose a preview “thumbnail” image for each video and topic wire. Equally rich playback features let you view a single video at a time or play an entire topic wire. “We’ve enabled true video playlists around a single topic,” adds Richardson. “Being able to view a collection of content from different trusted voices in a single, continuous stream deepens our overall understanding and connection to a subject. #Waywire will be a powerful tool for meaningful action across a host of topics.”
Lets you create a social video identity around what matters to you.
#Waywire’s commitment to choice extends to how you present and share your curated content. The service offers powerful tools to fuel your social stream, initially supporting the sharing of individual videos as well as entire curated wires to either Twitter or Facebook.
The business opportunity in curated, context-driven video is significant. In the 21 months between January 2010 and September 2011, total video views rose by 97%, to nearly 12 million per quarter, according to the FreeWheel Video Monetization Report. And views of video ads grew 128%, to more than 7 million per quarter. Looking forward, video market trackers at Forrester Research expect online video to triple to $6.3 billion in the next two years.
Even with its initial focus on aggregating content, the #waywire network has already seen strong momentum since launching seven months ago.
v Network users now watch up to 13 minutes on average per visit. That’s strong “dwell time” for an alpha service, notes Richardson.
v Engagement is rising steadily. Video views are seeing exponential monthly increases and communities are beginning to form around content such as that focusing on food justice in urban areas, Richardson adds. The site has also seen spikes in activity around special programming. Complementing the network’s user-curated content, #waywire now programs 40 hours of fresh content from trusted voices each day.
Already #waywire has signed up New York Magazine, HuffPost Live, Buzz:60, CollegeHumor, , OneMinuteNews, Refinery29, Slate, SourceFed, TakePart, The Young Turks (the #1 news network on YouTube) and VoxMedia.
For content creators, the new #waywire release promises three benefits:
v Increases video content’s impact in two ways. First, by having videos appear in the context of a larger event, issue or trend. And second, but allowing both #waywire and network members to curate that content into powerful and engaging topic wires.
”Having our segments collected with other content on the same topic gives our approach more impact and a longer view life,” says Aaron Wysocki, Director of Marketing of The Young Turks. “We expect #waywire’s approach of curating in context to drive additional distribution for us throughout the social stream – on Twitter, Facebook and even YouTube.”
v Extends the same benefit as users get of programming multiple channels. For programmers who span multiple categories – for example,
BedRocket’s service of extreme sports, fashion and comedy enthusiasts – this is especially important.
v Puts video content in front of an engaged community. Even before context tools were available, #waywire communities began forming around specific events.
and subjects. A host of tools also let users tag, notify and share directly with each other.
For advertisers, the attention to context solves a persistent problem with digital advertising.
“Not knowing where your digital ad will end up is a huge problem for major brands,” explains Ross. “#Waywire is built on the foundation of context, so advertisers and sponsors will always know the content near which their message appears is both appropriate and engaged by their targets.”
There are three initial ways for advertisers to participate in this generation of #waywire: Pre- and post-roll videos; branded content, which includes entire branded wires; and premium content, which will ultimately include paid and subscription options
“#waywire is leading the evolution of video viewing: A Pandora-like model, constantly on, always in the background,” sums noted advertising strategist Jack Myers, chairman of Myers Media Business Network. “Breaking through with ad messages will require creative content -based strategies and tactics yet to be conceived. It’s incumbent upon brands to begin aiming for this inevitable future.”
#waywire’s Angel and seed investors include First Round Capital, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Oprah Winfrey, and Troy Carter. Advisory board members include Dwipal Desa, John Ham, Susan Lyne, Dan Rather, Katie Stanton and Andrew Zucker.