According to a story at CNET, things aren’t looking so hot at Revver, the video-sharing site that made its name by paying video creators based on the traffic their clips generated. More than half of the employees who worked there 18 months ago are now gone, CNET says, and the company has reportedly been shopping itself around for the past few months. Asking price: Less than half a million dollars (plus the assumption of debt). This for a company that raised almost $13-million in funding.
I was a fan of Revver’s model early on, because I thought it made sense to compensate video artists whose clips drove a lot of traffic to the site. Among the beneficiaries of this model were video artists such as the Eepybird team (the guys behind the Diet Coke and Mentos videos) and the Lonelygirl15 project, as well as a range of other artists, including the Ask A Ninja guys and the creators of the “Will It Blend” videos. Liz Gannes at NewTeeVee has more background on Revver.
One of the controversial aspects of a site such as YouTube is that it makes bundles of cash from the ads that top-rated videos bring, but until relatively recently the creators of those videos got nothing out of the deal. The company has since expanded its “partner” program to include top-rated video artists, which is a nice change. And maybe the fact that it has done so — and that YouTube is responsible for a vast proportion of the video traffic on the Web — was enough to make Revver irrelevant.
Ashkan Karbasfrooshan of HipMojo has a great overview of the video scene.