YesVideo, a company that converts your old videotapes into digital form that you can view via a variety of devices, has reached a major milestone. The company has saved digital memories for more than 8 million people on mobile devices, PCs, DVDs, and the cloud.
That’s a lot of growth since the company revamped its service in 2012. YesVideo customers have uploaded more than 1.3 petabytes of videos and photos to the cloud, and so far, there have been no security breaches. YesVideo said it is the biggest memory saver in the country. The company has 250,000 monthly active users who share their memories with other users, compared to 90,000 a year ago.
“We set out to be the trusted media storage company,” Michael Chang, chief executive of Santa Clara, Calif.-based YesVideo, told VentureBeat in an interview. “We are excited about hitting the milestone and gathering momentum for the past two years.”
Saving your home movies is a huge problem because of technological change. We’ve got a lot of video stored on 8 millimeter videotapes or other old media that can no longer be easily played on our modern gadgets. If you upload video to storage sites, it can take up a lot of space that you have to pay for via annual subscription fees.
YesVideo charges an upfront fee of $15 per videotape, or $9 to $70 for a film reel transfer. You get unlimited storage and no annual fees, thanks to YesVideo’s partnership with Amazon. YesVideo operates a home media transfer and digitization service. But more than that, it has positioned itself as trustworthy enough to store and protect your most precious memories. And you can gain easier access to them via an app, DVD, or web site.
I have used YesVideo to store my home videos of my children. Now that they are stored online as well as on DVDs, I don’t have to worry that the computer that is storing all of them might fail or become obsolete. I love watching old videos of my eldest daughter when she was just a little kid, singing songs and taking all of my quarters and putting them in her piggy bank. She’s headed off to college today, and watching those videos makes me weepy. It truly does bring back memories.
One Wal-mart employee, Bonnie, shared a video below where she talked about watching home videos on YesVideo. She was divorced, but when she saw those old movies, she remembered why she fell in love with her husband in the first place. She told YesVideo that she reconciled with her husband after that.
“That’s an incredibly emotional story,” Chang said. “We are not just providing a transfer service. We are providing a vehicle for a family member, a chief memory officer, to pass down their legacies to their kids.”
YesVideo tries to convey how it can help you recapture those emotions through its retail advertising, as well as through YouTube videos.
YesVideo was started in 1999. But Chang and cofounder Andy Choi, who sold their mobile ad company Greystripe to ValueClick for $70 million, invested $5 million in the company in 2012. Chang became CEO and Choi became the chief technology officer. They made a bet that they could charge flat fees for the conversion service and then make the digital storage more efficient over time so that their costs didn’t race ahead of their revenues. That bet worked, but it means that the company must constantly improve technology such as compression, which makes the data smaller.
Video takes up a lot more storage space than photos and documents. That means that, at home, many people find that they’re filling up too many hard drives. They easily hit their limits with services like iCloud and Dropbox.
YesVideo clients have increased their storage 50 percent from 180 minutes on average in 2012 to 270 minutes now. A lot of people are becoming repeat customers.
“We are seeing a movement where people are comfortable relying on an external service, someone outside of the family, to take care of priceless mementos like photos and videos that are irreplaceable if mishandled,” Chang said.
YesVideo estimates that 95 percent of American households are still in need of a service to bring their home movies securely to the cloud.
With YesVideo, customers can drop off their film (8mm, 16mm, VHS, Beta), prints, and slides at one of the company’s 34,000 retail locations, which include Costco, Sam’s Club, and Walmart. They can also order from YesVideo.com to send in their footage via mail or delivery services.
Once transferred, the videos and media can be easily edited, watched on any devices, and shared via email or Facebook. You can stream on an Apple device from AirPlay to Apple TV devices and monitors.
Check out the video of Bonnie below.