Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 9:20 AM ET|Posted by Will RichmondMagnify.net, a provider of video management and curation services, is announcing later this morning that its platform will be used by Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and gear company, to power a new multimedia gallery on its site.
The video-focused initiative will highlight Patagonia's commitment to environmentalism and reinforce its brand positioning. In explaining the gallery's role and using Magnify, Bill Boland, Patagonia's creative director, online, said, "Together, we expect to build a brand, lifestyle and e-commerce experience that will connect with our customers and provide both knowledge and entertainment for them." The deal is significant because it's yet another example of how video's use is evolving to include non-media companies who see video's strategic video in supporting their brands, not in the traditional ad-based or paid models. I caught up with Steve Rosenbaum, Magnify's founder and CEO yesterday to learn more about the deal and this broader trend.
Steve explained that Patagonia will use Magnify's curation tools to assemble video from three sources: what they create themselves, what they find on the Internet that is appropriate/relevant to their environmental mission, and what their customers/fans contribute. Magnify's philosophy from its start has been that there's a tremendous amount of high-quality video already available online, and that by curating (i.e. filtering, presenting and updating) it thoughtfully, a lot of new value can be created. Importantly, curating relieves the pressure - especially for non-media firms like Patagonia - of having to staff up a big, new and expensive video production group to create everything from scratch.
Patagonia is part of small but growing group of Magnify customers using video for brand support rather than advertising. In this group Steve pointed to National Wildlife Federation, Big Apple Circus, a contest for hand-made crafts site Etsy.com, social network Roc4Life.com. Even a media company like New York magazine is able to capitalize on the idea. In its case it has helped Whole Foods start a sponsored video gallery that is featured on the magazine's site. Separately, I've also been periodically noticing video being used by restaurant, hotels and others to showcase themselves and support their overall messaging.
The trend toward brand-supported video use is bound to grow, both as the case studies for doing so emerge and also as offering video becomes table stakes for all web sites. Just as it would be unthinkable for any business today not to have a web site, eventually the same will be true with video. But exactly what the use cases are and how they're implemented is still to be determined. By enabling customers to draw on and curate video that's already available online, Magnify is helping reduce the entry cost for non-media companies.
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