Virool Brings Viral Video Views to the Cash Carrying Masses

By Trevor Gilbert , written on August 15, 2012

From The News Desk

So you’ve made a two minute video that you’re really proud of. And because of how cool it is, people are flocking to YouTube to watch it. Just how many? We’re talking scads, as in Bieber’s fan base looks like the neighborhood book club compared to the views you’re surely raking in.

Oh, not so much? Well, for a little bit of cash that can change. Enter Virool.

Virool, a startup being demoed at Y Combinator’s demo day later this month, is looking to boost the number of views video creators get. The company pairs publishers and content creators together automatically, and for a cut of the transaction, pushes out videos to viewers.

The idea is partly an advertising network, in that money changes hands in order for the video to be seen. But more importantly, the company is providing a much desired service for the video industry. And along the way, Virool gets a nice piece of the action.

According to the latest statistics released by YouTube, there are 72 hours of video content being uploaded to the service every minute. That’s over 1.5 million videos uploaded every single day. Finding quality content that’s relevant to you is the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack. Also the needle is made out of hay. And the haystack is on fire.

That problem impacts both the content creators and the viewers. Unlike normal ads, which most people either ignore or actively dislike, people actually do want to see quality video content -- they just don’t want to have to hunt for it. Likewise, creators want to have their videos seen, but barring videos organically going viral, it’s not clear how to attract viewers, and certainly not when it comes to targeted demographics.

Virool solves that problem. The process starts when video creators join Virool, and start a campaign.

Say I want to have a YouTube video be seen by an additional 1,000 people. I would go on Virool, add the link to the video, and then tell the service how much money I’m willing to pay per view.

Virool then takes the video and puts it in a number of different spots. Publishers can put the video on a Facebook page, or game developers can embed them in exchange for virtual currency. The publishers then get a cut of the proceeds from Virool, and the videos get almost guaranteed views.

When I met with the company earlier this week, they did a quick demo on a PandoDaily video. They chose one of the PandoList videos, and then set it up for a $10 campaign. Within seconds, the video was getting views all over the place. On top of just the views, the campaign could also be targeted towards groups of people based on age, gender, and location.

Then, when the views started coming in, Virool provides a quick dashboard to see results. The campaign owner can see where people are viewing the videos, how many are viewing them at the moment in real-time, and can choose to expand the campaign.

By all indications, the company has been winning over people in droves. The company provided some information on revenue growth over time, and it is impressive, to say the least. Looking at the last three months, the revenue per month has been roughly $50,000, $125,000, and $230,000, for May, June, and July; respectively. For the month of August, the company made a whopping $50,000 on the first day alone.

This growth in revenue is likely a big part of how the company has been able to attract investors. In addition to Y Combinator, the company is seeing investments from Paul Buccheit, Alexis Ohanian, 500Startups, and Y Combinator partner Garry Tan.

[Image courtesy fensterbme]