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Revver is a video sharing website that hosts user-generated content. Revver attaches advertising to user-submitted video clips and shares all ad revenue 50/50 with the creators (40/40/20 if the video is hosted by a third party). Videos can be displayed, downloaded and shared across the web in either Apple QuickTime or FLV format. In addition, Revver is a Video Publishing Platform that can enable any third-party to build their own "Revverized" site. The site is actually built on top of Revver's own API, and third-parties can build identical functionality into their own sites. Revver allows developers to create a complete white label of the Revver platform.


[edit] History

Revver was founded by Steven Starr, Ian Clarke, and Oliver Luckett in 2004, and is currently based in Los Angeles. The website itself, however, did not launch until November 2005. The company has received investment from Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Draper Richards, William R. Hearst, III, Comcast Interactive Capital and Turner Broadcasting [1]. Oliver Luckett departed the company in late 2006.

The current version of the site, Revver 1.0 was released in September 2006. This included a new design, user dashboard, a web based uploader and Flash as a video delivery method. Around the same time as the release, prominent YouTube user lonelygirl15 signed a promotional deal with Revver[2].

The site has grown slowly in popularity. Shortly prior to its relaunch, around 20,000 videos were available on the site[3]. By mid-October this number had almost quintupled to 100,000 videos[4]. The site's most popular user, a creator of videos mixing Mentos into Coke, had generated around $30,000. [5]

Revver released its API in September, 2006. Developers using the API can build a website with all the features on and have complete access to the full Revver library of videos.

On November 29, Verizon Wireless and Revver announced a deal to make some Revver videos available to subscribers of Verizon's V CAST service. The deal was announced the day after a similar deal with YouTube. On V CAST, Revver videos will not contain advertisements at the end, but Revver plans to share half of the revenue from the venture with content creators[6].

Revver was acquired by LiveUniverse for $5 million in February 2008 [7].

[edit] Revenue model

Revver is the first video-sharing website to monetize user-generated content through advertising and share ad revenue with the creator.[citation needed] Revver's system is often compared to Google's Adwords, but for video rather than websites.

The key technology behind Revver is the RevTag, a tracking tag that is attached to videos that users upload. The RevTag automatically displays a clickable advert at the end of each video. When viewers click on it, the advertiser is charged and the advertising fee is split between the video creator and Revver.

RevTags are trackable across the web so users are encouraged to share Revver videos as widely as possible. Since the RevTag is part of the video file itself (thanks to the interactivity made possible by Flash-based video players and by the QuickTime format), the technology works no matter where the video file is hosted or displayed, be it at, at another website, or in a user's hard drive or portable video player. Therefore Revver's monetization of the video is not hampered by the downloading or sharing of the video file by users.

The RevTag can fail to load an ad, or to register an ad click, if the device playing the video is not connected to the internet, in which case a default "Brought to you by Revver" message is shown at the end. Of course, if the video file is transcoded into a different format (such as by uploading it to YouTube or Google Video, or by running it through a program that changes the format of the video file, e.g. into MPEG or RealPlayer), then the RevTag would almost certainly be lost. Network problems between the viewer's computer and Revver's ad server, or problems on the ad server, can also prevent the loading of ads.

The Revver website provides tools for sharing including RSS, podcasting, and embeddable FLV or QuickTime players. This minimizes any added benefits of transcoding. Revver thus makes it easy for creators and fans to embed the video anywhere while still in its original RevTagged version.

Users are further encouraged to share by Revver's affiliate program. An Affiliate is a user who helps to promote their favorite videos (or any videos they believe will become popular), be it through email, sneakernet, peer-to-peer sharing, or posting on their own website or on social-networking webpages. Revver affiliates earn 20% of ad revenue for sharing videos. The remaining revenue for each video is split 50/50 between the video creator and Revver. This is possible because the RevTag in a video file that is promoted by an affiliate contains information not only about the video being played but also about the affiliate.

By using the Revver API in conjunction with sharing options such as embedded players, developers can create user-interactive sites where video creators, as the users of such sites, provide video content and where the affiliate revenue for the video content goes to the site owner.

In the past, creators were able to restrict what kinds of advertisements could be placed at the end of their videos, but this is currently not possible. However, advertisers may choose to request that their ads be shown in videos of certain categories (such as videos that are most popular on certain websites), thus allowing them to better target their desired demographics.

To enable lawful sharing of Revver videos, the Revver upload license allows for redistribution under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Creative Commons License.

[edit] Criticism

The website has attracted controversy for providing video content on Zango, an infamous adware creator and distributor. Videos that are uploaded to Revver are (according to the deal) passed on to Zango in exchange for a fee. Zango is well known for its adware distribution techniques, which include drive-by downloads.

After contracting with Live Universe, earnings from July 2008 onwards were still "pending", meaning that that Revver had delayed payments to unspecified date. On December 9, 2008, Revver sent a message to all its users saying that earnings from June were transferred, and the other earnings would be transferred as soon as possible. However, many people still have yet to receive these payments.

Several of their most popular content providers including ScrewAttack and That Guy with the Glasses have also publicly posted complaints of Revver owing them vast amounts of money on their websites and have begun moving their content over to Blip.TV [8]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Comcast, Turner Invest in Revver" (in English). 2006-08-11. Retrieved on 2006-10-21. 
  2. ^ "Creators confess to Lonelygirl15 mystery" (in English). Associated Press via USA Today (Associated Press). 2006-09-13. Retrieved on 2006-10-21. 
  3. ^ "Revver: A Video-Site on Pause" (in English). (Business Week). 2006-08-11. Retrieved on 2006-10-21. 
  4. ^ "Ad buyers beware" (in English). Chicago Tribune (Tribune Co. Inc.). 2006-10-15.,1,1574851.story?ctrack=1&cset=true. Retrieved on 2006-10-21. 
  5. ^ "Mentos, soda stir frenzy" (in English). San Jose Mercury News (MediaNews Group). 2006-08-21. Retrieved on 2006-10-21. 
  6. ^ "Verizon To Broadcast Revver Videos To Cell Phones" (in English). 2006-11-29. Retrieved on 2006-12-31. 
  7. ^ "LiveUniverse Buys Revver for More than a Song (about $5M)" (in English). 2008-02-14. Retrieved on 2008-05-28. 
  8. ^ "Revver be Dead". 2008-11-14. Retrieved on 2008-11-14. 

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