Revver

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Revver is a video sharing website that hosts user-generated content. Revver attaches advertising to user-submitted video clips and originally offered to share ad revenue with the video creators. 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.

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. Oliver Luckett departed the company in late 2006.

A significant revision 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.

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

Revver released its API in September 2006. Developers using the API can build a website with all the features on Revver.com 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.

Revver was acquired by LiveUniverse for $5 million in February 2008. LiveUniverse stopped making regular payments of "shared" ad revenue to video creators several months after the acquisition.

Revenue model

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

The defining feature behind Revver is the RevTag, a tracking tag attached to uploaded videos. The RevTag displays an advertisement at the end of each video. When clicked, 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. Because the RevTag is part of the video file itself, the technology works regardless of where the video file is hosted or displayed.

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 videos, through email, sneakernet, peer-to-peer sharing, or posting on their own website or on social networking sites. Revver affiliates earn 20% of ad revenue for sharing videos. The remaining revenue for each video is divided equally between the video creator and Revver.

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

In the past, creators were able to restrict what kinds of advertisements could be placed at the end of their videos, but this feature has been removed. Advertisers may choose to request that their ads be shown in videos of certain categories, allowing them to target desired demographics.

Revver uploads license allows for redistribution under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Creative Commons License.

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. To date, neither company has been paid by Revver.

More recently, Revver has been plagued by technical problems, with videos often failing to load at all and users commonly experiencing the "500 error - aka something broke".

Many public complaints appeared in the Revver forums indicating that LiveUniverse would not respond to inquiries about the lack of payments to video creators, as well as the recent erasing of owed revenue on users accounts to "$0" without notifying the video creators as to why the sum they were owed was erased, no matter what the original amount was.

The State of California lists the status of LiveUniverse as "Suspended."

See also

  • User-generated content
  • Viral video
  • Comparison of video services
  • Web 2.0
  • YouTube
  • Metacafe
  • vMix
  • iFilm
  • blip.tv
  • Break.com
  • Videosift
  • sevenload

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Revver,
which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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