Content distribution has traditionally been defined by scarcity: in the number of channels available to watch TV; the number of theaters to watch films; the number of radio stations to listen to music; the number of bookstores to buy books; and so-on. The Internet, however, fundamentally alters this dynamic, by vastly increasing the number of distribution points as well as the number of content choices that an average person has. If one wanted to watch a movie today they could do so via Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Youtube, Vudu, Vimeo and many, many other channels. And with technologies like Chromecast and AppleTV, this list can potentially be expanded to anything that can be displayed within a web browser.
However, most of these video distribution options available today are outdated. They were designed before channels like Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook even existed. The filmmaker’s role is secondary to the marketplace, and the creator has no direct relationship with the fans and customers of their product. As a result, new methods and opportunities to distribute content have opened. One of those is VHX, which has developed a service that allows creators to market and sell their goods directly to users, without any intermediary, available on any device. We are announcing today that USV has led a Series A investment in VHX.
In the same way that Tumblr created a self-serve blogging platform, VHX has created a self-serve video distribution platform – with the same ease and focus on beautiful design. Creators are in control of every element – a creator needs only to pick a theme, customize the site and upload content. No exclusivity, and no fees (just a simple revenue share). In the past year, over 300,000 people have purchased content via the VHX platform, resulting in over $2M in gross sales to the content creators. This platform empowers filmmakers by allowing them to craft the audience experience, removing the intermediaries that control how people interact and transact with their content.
Just as interesting are the new possibilities that emerge from networked use of the VHX platform. For maybe the first time, filmmakers can create ad-hoc “studios” on the fly – bundling their films to be distributed and sold together. Multiple creators can also use the tools and data that arise from the platform to band together and co-market content, again in real time and on the fly, to their joint fan bases. And, users themselves can follow and promote content within and without the network. The VHX platform increases in value to both creators and users as the participants and activities grow.
VHX’s mission is to help artists make more money from their work. We are excited to help them with that goal.