• 5Min Unveils VideoSeed, a Clever Syndication Tool

    5Min, one of the many well-funded entrants in the video-based how-to/knowledge space which I wrote about last Feb, has recently introduced VideoSeed, a clever syndication tool that has already helped drive its video to dozens of partner sites aggregating 110 million unique visitors per month. VideoSeed is another indicator that the Syndicated Video Economy is helping shape product development priorities throughout the broadband industry. I spoke to Ran Harnevo, 5Min's CEO/co-founder yesterday to learn more.

    VideoSeed's goal is to give 5Min's partners relevant and complimentary video that can be easily inserted into text-oriented pages with little-to-no editorial oversight. As Ran explained it, a partner signs up, specifies which pages it wants video inserted into, selects parameters of 5Min video it wants to allow and templates for how the video should appear. 5Min editors rank all of its videos 1-5 according to an internal quality scale while rigorously assigning metadata to each.

    VideoSeed semantically scans all of the partner-submitted pages and matches and inserts relevant 5Min video. (Examples can be seen at Answers.com and wikiHow) As new, relevant videos are added to 5Min, they automatically rotate into the partners' pages. Videos can be viewed on the site or through 5Min's "SmartPlayer" which has features like super slow motion, zooming, etc.)

    5Min currently has a library of about 40K videos, of which Ran thinks 80% are sufficiently high quality to be of interest to partners. 5Min commissions some videos and aggregates others. Ran eschews terms like "premium" and "UGC" as they've found some of the best videos come from pure amateurs.

    5Min sells ads across the syndication network, using its own team and third-party ad networks. It's using overlays and pre-rolls to date. Revenue is shared with the content providers and publishing partners. Advertisers benefit by reaching a targeted, engaged audience across dozens of sites while only having to make one buy decision.

    Text-oriented how-to/knowledge-based sites and subject-driven specialty sites lend themselves perfectly to accepting complimentary syndicated video. But as Ran points out, shooting video, hosting/serving it and selling ads against it is a lot of effort for most text-oriented sites. This is especially true in a down economy when resources are tight. These factors have helped contribute to 5Min expanding its partner audience rapidly to 110 million uniques, with 2-3 new partners coming on board daily.

    I could also see the VideoSeed technology being interesting in other categories (celebrity video comes immediately to mind), though for now Ran says 5Min's staying focused on knowledge, and also isn't looking to license VideoSeed externally. No doubt others will watch its progress and look to emulate it. But as Ran notes, to really succeed, they must first focus on assigning highly accurate metadata so the matching process works as intended and users truly get relevant, high quality video.

    What do you think? Post a comment now.