Google-owned streaming-video service YouTube has purchased video-editing startup Directr for an undisclosed amount, the startup announced today.
Directr’s technology makes it somewhat easy for people to create movies from a mobile device, regardless of how much film experience they have. The startup provides tools for the entire creation process, including storyboarding, adding background music, and subtitles. It’s only available for use on Apple’s iPhone, but a note on the company’s page indicates an Android version is in development.
“For now, everything you love about Directr is staying the same and we’ll continue to focus on helping businesses create great video quickly and easily,” the startup wrote in a blog post.
The comments indicate that there is no immediate plan to absorb the Directr app into YouTube’s own creator-focused iOS app that it released a few months ago. Additionally, Directr said both its standard and premium mobile apps would now be free as a result of the acquisition.
Over the last several months, YouTube has implemented a new strategy that focuses more on the top creators and channel partners. Not only is the site attempting to keep these folks better informed about upcoming changes, but it has also started developing new tools for tracking, creating, and engaging their content. The new strategy was partially sparked by top creators who have become more vocal about not being able to generate enough money from YouTube alone to justify running a business. It also likely has a bit to do with the large players — like Amazon, Yahoo, and newcomer Vessel — attempting to poach them away by promising them more lucrative terms.
As for Directr, YouTube said in a Google+ update that it plans to use the mobile video service primarily as part of its advertising strategy. More specifically, Directr will “help us make it easier for advertisers to create and upload awesome videos.”
Analysts estimate that YouTube brought in around $5.6 billion in revenue for 2013, and another report indicates that the number is closer to $3.5 billion. Either way, plenty of people believe the site could be generating more money, and giving advertisers a set of tools to create their own videos seems like a step in the right direction.
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