By YouTube standards, MyPodStudios is just a corner store as online video platforms go. It has “just” 15,000 videos across eight content categories. YouTube says 72 hours of video are uploaded to its site every minute.
That’s YouTube’s great benefit as well as its problem. You think there are people who can’t sing? Yes, you’re right. They also can’t shoot video. But they insist on doing both and millions watch. It’s amazing.
Not on MPS which was launched in 2011 by Jay Miletsky, who had worked in the advertising business before striking out on his own. The site curates its videos. It pays its creators well, by online video standards, and its newly redesigned site even has a hostess who adds a kind of homey touch to visiting.
It’s hard to give an appraisal of 15,000 videos and 250 content partners, but the site seems calmer and a little more thoughtful.
Every month, MyPodStudios.com attracts 7 million uniques. Miletsky claims 2012 revenue of $7 million, and he’s at the point that he knows he’s still plotting the course. Because of big horses like YouTube, the smaller ponies have to watch where they’re going. Miletsky does that, for sure.
“I know that in the future, I think we’re going to have to have more of a point of view” he said the other day, so the site is not just this and that, however well that this and that is done (and organized by topic, too). And he says, as the site evolves, it might become a blend of text and video, if for example, an advertiser would use MyPodStudios as the provider a role not only the company’s video but its other information.
To move forward, he’s acquired a 25% stake in Bravo Studios, the owner of “green screen” studios in New York (and we will add here, not in any way related to the ginormous Bravo cable brand which is owned by NBC Universal.). Together with Bravo’s CEO Tim Donovan, Miletsky thinks the studio link offers spectacular synergies—he can shoot commercials or videos or programs for TV networks—on a scale that makes it practical for a program producer to also place their videos on the My Pod Studios Web site in one package.
“Tim and I just think having an arrangement, like we’ve had before, wasn’t like a partnership,” Miletsky explains. “Now when we have a project it’s not just a job for the people who work here or for Bravo. It’s part of the business and it’s a really different thing we bring to our online video site.”
He sees opportunity in the B2B space, and beyond. The MyPodStudios deal with Bravo also lets Miletsky and his company go beyond just acquiring video product to actually producing content and pre-roll and adding interactive elements.
The idea works in scale. Even before the Bravo alliance, MyPod launched five programs on its Website. It launched three more this year—“Top Shelf,” in which mixologists do their stirring and shaking thing; “Simple Dish,” which is a lot like what its name suggests; and “Stretching at Work” which is an exercise show of sorts for the office bound and makes it good viewing for people with PCs or laptops. That’s perfect for MyPodStudios, which doesn’t have a mobile app.
Miletsky likes to write about the business, which he’s done more than once for this site, in a manner that shows he puts some thought into what he’s doing for a living and how viewers are using his sites and others. For example, right now, he’s come to the conclusion that those “countdowns” on pre-roll commercials, while perhaps intended to help antsy viewers realize that the advert for the University of Phoenix is over in 14, 13, 12...seconds instead may make them so antsy they click away altogether.
He came to that conclusion when an ad network that routinely offers those timers yanked their ads from the MyPodStudios site complaining that too few of their ads were being seen. When Miletsky checked, he discovered pre-roll without the time element had much better completion rates. Now, unless he has to, those timers don’t appear on MyPodStudios videos.
The point is, I guess, that MyPodStudios is no big thing, yet, and seems in however it is that a Website can seem intimate, to be just that. “All of our video content is hand-picked,” says one of the promotional blurbs on its Website, which might be the kind of point-of-view Miletsky is looking for and already has.