vhx

I recently created Music Video Genome. It’s essentially Pandora for music videos (or a personalized MTV). Through the power of VHX’s new API, Last.fm and YouTube, it made it quite simple to accomplish.

This past weekend I participated in a video hackday. You get 24 hours to start and finish a video based project. At the end everyone demos their speed hack.

My project morphed several times over the course of the weekend, but the final result ended up being something I’m really enjoying.

I called it Genome because it’s not that simple to match music videos to real songs. Most music “videos” on YouTube are just a stupid static image. Granted not all songs have music videos, but it would be amazing if I could crowd-source the documentation of music videos to songs. If a song does not have an official music video, fans could make their own and have it bubble up as the official video.

Black Web Series!!!

An African City
Black and Sexy TV (YouTube and VHX)
Sexless (VHX)
Chef Julian (VHX)
Becoming Nia
That Guy
Hello Cupid
Numbers
Close Friends
Dear Future Wife
First
Choir
Unwritten Rules
Everything I did wrong in my 20’s
(If you know more black web series please reblog with the names, thanks!)

I really enjoy creating alternate versions of the VHX.tv logo as identity exercises. I realized that this version I created with a single line translated perfectly into neon. I’ve also discovered that neon signs are relatively cheap to get produced! Desktop background sized version here. More versions coming!

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SOUND CITY is like sitting in a room with your favorite legendary rock & roll artists, reminiscing about music, life, and the experience of recording at Sound City Studios. That happened to you too, right? Hey Tom Petty! What’s up Stevie Nicks?

We are so pumped to work with Foo Fighters frontman and certified chill guy Dave Grohl, who directed the film and serves as an awesome guide to the world of Sound City. Pre-order SOUND CITY now, directly from Dave, at a discounted price of $10 for access to instant rewards and exclusive clips. The full film will be released on February 1st, 2013. Rock.

vimeo

VHX.tv founders reflect on rapid pace of technology & future of online video

Yesterday we debuted the second intallment of Unpakt’s “Innovators on the Move” series, catching entrepreneurs reflecting on the professional and physical moves they make as their companies grow.

In this video, Unpakt follows the Emmy-award winning duo behind online video platform VHX.tv as they hire their first team and move into their first offices. Co-founders Casey Pugh and Jamie Wilkinson (who previously helped build sites like Vimeo and produced internet favorite ‘Star Wars Uncut’) reflect on the rapid pace of technology and the doors that online video distribution can open for their users.

As per Jamie’s advice, “smart people in a post industrial landscape… you don’t make them come to you, you go to where they are,” we travel to both his home in SF and to their NY headquarters. As an online tool that allows the user to seamlessly move anywhere across the country, Unpakt celebrates these co-founders ability to stay nimble and run their startup coast to coast.

Direct Distribution is Important for Artists, Audiences, Everyone

There’s a lot of talk about new ways of watching, streaming, funding, and everything else-ing video.   

Which is why we’re so excited to be VHX right now, working in this intersection of video content and technology. Artists are generating an amazing amount of great content. While there are options for distributing free and ad-supported videos, there are not great options for actually selling your work. We are making a platform to get artists’ work seen, loved, and paid for.

Direct distribution is creators selling directly to their fans.

Instead of using other people’s stores and marketplaces, artists can sell from their own websites. This model points to the kind of close relationship between audience and creator that both parties want - axing the middleman idea that has come to define old structures. We are part of a new developing ecosystem of distribution, offering better, more flexible options to help anyone sell their work to the people who want it.

1. Because, Internet.

With the perpetual advance of bandwidth and plethora of devices to consume content, it’s just plain easy to watch online. We strongly believe that a digital copy of content can and should be superior to its physical ancestor. You can stuff your “digital DVD” with bonus content, subtitles, bundle with other goodies, or even change or release more content over time, free of old school restrictions like region-blocking. Miami Connection - a film that was barely available on VHS when it was made in 1987 - is now easy to watch anytime with hours of bonus content, anywhere in the world.

Additionally, the Internet has enabled makers and their audiences to build real relationships, from #TeamCoco to Taylor Swift to Amanda Palmer. The webs of social networks that have developed over the last decade mean that artists are able to communicate en masse, for free, and connect to the fans that are interested in their work. Dave Grohl uses social media platforms as a way to tell fans about his doc, Sound City, connect them to upcoming concerts, and even answer personal questions. Content discovery is powered by people, and artists can have a direct connection to that process.

2. Direct distribution allows artists less restrictions, more control

Distributing directly to fans online relieves a lot of restrictions. Content does not need to fit into a specific package, like “feature-length film,” to be something that fans want to buy. House of Cards showrunner Beau Willimon explains that content like TV programming must adapt to the desires of a digital audience:

“There’s not even a reason to stick the half hour or hour-long models. You can have an episode that’s 20 minutes, an episode that’s 90 minutes.”

A flexible platform allows artists to sell freeform content they may not have even considered.

Direct distribution also allows artists to command long-term control of the work they generate. They can be as creative with how they release content as they are with how they make it. Mike Birbiglia partnered with IFC to sell Sleepwalk With Me in the United States, but kept many of the international rights and sold his movie directly from his own site everywhere else in the world.

Keeping that control empowers artists to choose the distribution methods that work best. Technology offers precise information about audiences that you simply can’t get elsewhere. The filmmakers behind Stuck tracked their site referrals and focused their resources on what worked, while Indie Game: The Movie used audience and sales data to experiment with the optimal price point. Selling directly is a viable, accountable complement to everything else in the seller’s arsenal of tools, and what they learn from their web traffic can inform the rest of their distribution strategy.

3. And it’s better for fans anyway

Artists have the ability to make more money from their work when we connect them directly to fans. Think of it as the technology piece that’s been missing from their distribution toolbelt.

Every creator that we’ve worked with at VHX is so excited to be able to put their work online in a way that reaches individual fans in a personal way, and in a way that showcases the content:

And those are just a few. The freedom of selling directly empowers artists to be creative with their content and creative with how they show it to the world.

And that couldn’t be better news for us as fans. The nature and quality of video experiences keep evolving, and artists continue to explore ways for audiences to interact with their work online. As an audience, we get to keep supporting creators as they make things we want to watch - your wallet is a powerful way to vote.

We want to make direct distribution easy, so creators can reach fans, audiences can watch great content, and we can all support work we love without wondering where the money is going.

The VHX platform is in action - check out some awesome artists distributing directly to fans. And drop us a line with distribution experiences you have, whether as an artist or content-consumer.