“There’s been a desire for greater control of your own digital business,” says Bing Chen, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Victorious. “You are renting your audience right now. You do not own them.”
The trouble is, creating your own app from the ground up is not only a time-consuming endeavor, it can also run up quite a bill. But Victorious is building a business on partnering with new media stars to build apps that are as unique as their audiences. So far, they’ve been doing this quite successfully, snagging the likes of Ryan Higa, Jenna Marbles, Michelle Phan, AwesomenessTV, Machinima, Geek & Sundry and more, a well-curated list of not just new media stars but also new media companies.
“We look for creators who can transcend their category and themselves.”
What Victorious aims to do is to empower them to own their own audiences and their data and to tap into the potential of different revenue streams.
“Content today is incredibly one-dimensional. You watch a video. You like a photo. You retweet a tweet. And the reality is storytelling is a continuous multimedia experience,” says Bing.
Victorious works directly with creators in a relatively punctuated process to build standalone apps that have all kinds of content like polls, quizzes and Ryan Higa’s exclusive game. These apps are not a one size fits all solution for creators, but a unique and enhanced way for creators to engage with what Bing calls “superfans.’
“Superfans on any platform have always driven the majority of engagement revenue. They are the 20 percent that drive the 80 percent, whether or YouTube, Facebook and so forth.”
Victorious thinks of these apps as giving direct access to the superfans in a way where “they become an affiliate or partner in the creator’s journey.”
“Creators all have fundamentally different business models. When I was at YouTube, five of us tried to evaluate what the typical business model of a creator was, whether was in beauty, music, or what have you. No surprise. Every creator was different.”
“Already we have signed more digitally-born creators than any other startup or new media company in the world.”
But how are they monetizing Bing says that Victorious has built a robust ad mediation layer of which he is proud, as well as in-app purchases and microtransactions. Beyond that, Bing says there are opportunities for branded integrations and that Victorious is working closely with merchandise vendors.
“Victorious wants to work with super creators, super fans and super brands.” The benefit for brands, he says, is that they don’t have to sift through to find the most engaged users. “It’s targeted towards the creme-de-la-creme.”
What’s next for Victorious “You’re going to see a whole host of creative opportunities that will be unleashed on the platform throughout the summer and beyond, whether it’s exclusive new interactive experience, games, an IP, or what have you. You’re also going to see a broadening of the type of creator we work with,” he said, citing TV shows, networks and more.