magnify1.pngThere are too many video sharing sites. There’s clearly a bubble in this sector, and we’re tired of writing about me-too companies.

That said, Magnify, is notable for its different take: It lets web publishers create video-sharing sites that aggregate only videos relevant to the publisher’s readers.

Here’s the sexy part: The New York-based company wants to help them make money. It includes a revenue-sharing deal which lets publishers sell their own ads on their video sites, targeting their niche readers, and keeping half the ad revenue. The less sexy part is that publishers have to sell the adds themselves, and selling ads on videos isn’t as easy as you’d think. (YouTube’s ad overlay program, for example, will bring that huge video company a mere $720,000 in net revenue, if you believe the corrected math of Internet analyst Mary Meeker.)

Still, niched relevant video content may be much more valuable. A somewhat similar site to Magnify is Vodpod (coverage), which lets you aggregate videos and distribute them through embeddable widgets. But it doesn’t offer the same ad-sharing scheme, nor publisher-branded sites.

If you’re a publisher using Magnify, you first create a video sub-site for your domain, such as video.bicycling.com for bicycling.com and its biking enthusiasts (see image below, for example).


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Then you set up a search for relevant videos from across the other online video sites that Magnify draws from, ranging from YouTube to DailyMotion and Metacafe and others. If you’re bicycle.com, for example, you could set up a search for “bicycle races” and pull in a bunch of videos about bicycle races.

Your readers can upload their own videos as well as grade each video based its quality and suitability for the site. The company offers a drag-and-drop interface of windows where you can display the most popular videos, most recent ones, specific sub-types of videos, such as “Tour de France” videos — and other customized choices for displaying videos.

Magnify launched last January and has grown to 8.5 million page views in this past month, up from 7 million in July, chief executive Steve Rosenbaum told us.

Magnify says it has nearly 8,000 “channels” or partner sites, and is adding 50 sites a day. Users are spending more time on the site, too, averaging seven minutes in June, nine minutes in July, and thirteen in August, Rosenbaum says.

Users can also create widgets for their owns sites that play videos from the publisher’s site, which can lead to more traffic for the publisher. Magnify says its widgets have had 25 million views in the last 90 days, and have led to a surprising amount of traffic back to home sites.

Publisher Wayne Porter started a video site featuring for clips from Second Life: One video, he says, received only 110 plays on YouTube in one week, but over 1200 plays on his Magnify-powered site, including more reviews.

The company is funded by its founders and private individuals. Rosenbaum was formerly a producer with MTV.

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