Build Your Video Business

How We Think About the Creator/Fan Relationship

by Jamie Wilkinson · May 18, 2016 · Comments

I sat down with Peter Yagecic of digital agency Situation Interactive to talk about the relationship between video creators and their customers — basically, the whole reason we started VHX. Read on for how we think about supporting that relationship, and what we think is coming next for digital video. 

Situation: How does VHX enhance the dialogue between content creators and their consumers? 

Jamie Wilkinson: Our mission is to help businesses large and small sell videos directly to their audience, so we’ve designed our platform from the ground up to enable dialogue between content creators and their customers. 

For example, every VHX site has its own community forum, which allows customers to talk with each other directly; a great example is Yoga With Adriene’s forums where her fans exchange tips and suggestions that go well beyond what Adriene covers in her videos. The forums feature really creates a sense of community and an authentic relationship a creator can have with their fans.  

We also give our sellers detailed analytics and full access to information about their customers, which is key to understanding who is buying and using their products, growing their business, and building long-lasting relationships. Video stores like iTunes and Netflix don’t provide any information or lines of communication at all, which means you’re perpetually rebuilding your audience from scratch. Actually talking to your customers is the oldest trick in the book for building a successful business, and having detailed usage data to back it up makes you more effective across the board.

Who is your ideal customer?

Anyone who wants to build a successful video business! We’ve worked with sellers big and small: individuals, small businesses, YouTubers, yoga studios, production companies, and major film and television studios. 

Do you envision VHX as empowering the little guys to get their content into people’s living rooms

This goes back to our mission: our goal is to help sellers - big and small - build a successful video business. One of the other data points we point to is the accessibility of professional-grade production equipment and democratized marketing power of social media. Our hope is to continue this trend and lower the barrier to entry for professional-grade “Netflix-esque” distribution. We’re here to provide the tools, know-how and support they need to become the next great TV company – whether you’re an actual media company based in LA or just 2 people in a bedroom.

What was the key impetus for creating the open API? Can you point to a brand that has made the best use of the API to create their own VOD experience?

Our app and websites are highly customizable, but they can only go so far. Most of these limitations are by design: we have no interest in building a bloated, everything-to-everyone product.

We have great sellers who want to do things that aren’t possible with our turn-key solutions - e.g. processing your payments but using VHX for everything else, offering interactive quizzes alongside instructional videos, or streaming video inside of virtual reality apps. Those are perfect examples where building something custom with the VHX API makes way more sense.

What trends do you see emerging in the SVOD marketplace in the next 6 months? In the next 2 years?

First, the great unbundling. Hundreds of channels become thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of channels. The free, mostly-amateur version of this has already happened thanks to YouTube and Vimeo; we want to be part of the next wave of premium, “content worth paying for” channels.

Next is the great rebundling. With hundreds of thousands of channels, discovery and aggregation become major problems. The cable bundle did a great job solving for this, but the problem is that you had to be a cable company in order to do that bundling. The next wave – and platforms like VHX – open this playing field up to everyone.

Check out the full interview and other great digital thoughts in Situation Magazine.