Video curator Magnify.net drew 18.7 million unique visitors for the 30-day period ending February 12, 2014, up from 6.1 million uniques in the same period of 2013, a 209% increase (see chart below). Magnify.net's CEO Steve Rosenbaum shared the results with me and explained that the significant rise was due primarily to the launch of new publishing partners such as AARP, New York magazine, Grind Media and others, plus the broader adoption of video viewing on desktops and mobile video and one video in particular going viral.
Since its founding in 2006, Magnify.net has been doggedly pursuing its core mission of making high-quality videos available to publishers. Steve's premise has been that really good video is hard to create and so it's more efficient for many publishers to simply curate from what's already available, rather than create it themselves. Magnify.net provides a curation platform that allows editors to pick and choose which video should be matched with their particular vertical.
Magnify.net has evolved in a couple of important ways in the past 6 months. First, in October 2013, it acquired social video network Waywire, a startup co-founded by N.J. Senator Cory Booker which also had a curation vision, but as a consumer-facing play for millennials to "wire" their favorite videos. For a variety reasons, Waywire didn't live up to its hype, but along the way it did gain 60 content providers.
While Magnify.net will continue to focus on the publisher market, Waywire essentially becomes Magnify.net's consumer-facing side. It recently launched "HotWires," which are collections of 7 curated videos by 19 well-know personalities across a number of different categories. Steve said the collections are meant to work like a 30 minute programmed episode. Waywire curators now use the Magnify.net platform. Steve sees huge potential for serving users directly and Waywire appears to be a low-risk way of pursuing the opportunity. Steve noted that Waywire has yet to contribute significantly to the company's overall unique visitor growth.
The other thing Magnify.net has begun to do is include monetization with its curated videos. Traditionally Magnify.net only provided the videos via its platform, but now Steve said it is beginning to monetize them as well, and offer a share to publishers. This moves Magnify.net more into the space of video syndicators like AOL and Grab Media (now part of blinkx).
Overall, Steve remains bullish on curation and after years of repeatedly explaining it, sees publishers finally embracing it.