Steve Rosenbaum, host of NY Video Meetup, said members heard “Rock-Star video presentations” by four cutting edge startups at Columbia University Thursday night.
Several journalists in attendance were already using NowThisNews. Montaj just launched their iPhone app that day. NYVS wants to turn beginning videographers into professionals. Vidwala is a platform for transforming video monetization into plug and play solutions without requiring credit cards.
Matthew Quint, director of Columbia Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership said rich content–especially video–is important to organizations because they are constantly aligning content with strategy. “So if you’re thinking about social media, often it’s photos. They are more effective on Facebook–they drive traffic. Facebook as a system weights photos more highly than videos and sharing, so strategically photos are a better outlet on Facebook than video might be. Timing is also important – how fast you can get your message out. Rich content is great if it’s under two minutes. You can tell a great story, and that way video is just as valuable as anything you can put in words or photos.”
Demir Gjokai of Montaj showed off an iPhone app that makes video story creation as simple as point, shoot and shake. “I think what’s cool about Montaj is that we’re effectively a completely different take on the movie app space,” said Gjokai. “The app space is flooded with video apps right now which are sort of apps which are like Instagram for video – 15 seconds of clips. They really turn people into clip makers so everybody’s making a clip of their dog and a clip of their grandchild and clips and clips and clips. We don’t allow clip-makers, we only allow storytellers.”
He said once users have shot clips of barbeques and birthday parties, they then just have to shake the phone and Montaj cuts it for them, adds music from their iTunes library and adds a filter. Every time the user shakes it, the video is recut with a new filter and a new song, always resulting in a new cut. “We want to communicate that in a medium we like best — and what do we love best? Photos? No. We love video.”
Drake Martinet, co-founder of NowThis News, one of Leher Venture’s latest finds, described the startup as a video news company for the social and mobile generation. “Video news viewers tend to be older, average cable audience members are in their 50s and 60s. Younger people aged 18 to 40 aren’t running home to see the evening news, they never have, it’s just not built for their life. Younger people have come of age in an era when we expect things to be delivered to us on our devices. We also expect it to be there wherever we happen to be. We’re making viral video news that’s smart, made by journalists with very high production quality, and we’re doing it to absolutely change the future of how news is consumed by people on mobile devices and social networks.”
Alex Collmer presented NYVS, an online education company where users learn about producing high quality films. “Effectively everyone in the world would need to become video literate, just the same as folks needed to become text literate. That being said, we don’t believe that everyone needs to go to NYU film school or USC film school in order to be able to make a video to sell a car or house or meet someone online or whatever.”
Vidwala is a mobile video distribution platform and iPad app. Co-founders Lance Miller and Kabir Mohammed said their platform bridges the gap between YouTube and iTunes distribution for independent video products. Their goal is helping independent producers by allowing them to choose how to monetize their content.