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And Mode today pointed to evidence that the new site is already working.
One of its featured video bloggers, Meghan Rienks, got 1 million views in three hours for the first video in a series launched yesterday morning, and 1.8 million views after five hours, according to Mode’s chief executive Samir Arora. Rienks, a YouTube star who offers fashion tips, typically gets about 200,000 to 400,000 views on YouTube. It usually takes her about a year to get over the significant threshold of 1 million views for her popular videos.
All of the video series featured by Mode will be guaranteed more than a million views, according to chief executive, Samir Arora. That’s because Mode drives traffic to this content from its hoards of visitors who express interest in that type of content. In this way, Mode is trying to replicate what TV allows for advertisers, which is to guarantee scale through the size of its distribution — something that other big video players like YouTube or Facebook can’t do as easily. And they can’t do that in part because they rely on user-generated content — and not verified content producers advertisers feel safe about getting behind.
The idea for the latest Mode format arose from the realization that “if you put yourself on Facebook and other social networks, you couldn’t make any money,” Arora said.
Mode says it has the ability to get 200 video series each over that significant 1M view threshold. It says it will get more than a billion video views a month by the end of this year.
The move is the latest in a long process of transformation for Mode. The company started in 2003 as Glam, a media company focused on fashion, lifestyle, and other woman’s topics. It has since raised $215 million, and expanded into other verticals. Four years ago, it expressed its intent to go public. It has since curtailed those plans, and looks to be settling in for at least a couple of more years as a private company to consolidate around its new brand, Mode — and to become profitable. We’re also hearing it might be raising another round of financing.
About 10,000 professional creators have applied and been certified through an online review by Mode, according to the company. These are journalists, writers, video producers, or curators who, after acceptance by Mode, can also opt in to be paid by advertisers. Mode, in turn, promises to promote these creators’ work in channels by topic area, so that visitors to the site interested in a topic — say fashion, or family, or sports — can discover that content.
At launch, Mode decided not to publicly list the view count of videos, but confirmed the 1.8-million-view number of Rienks’ video with VentureBeat.
Mode pays curators like Rienks in three ways. A brand can agree to back the whole video series from the outset, and Mode passes on a percentage to the curator. The brand won’t be able to dictate the content, but agrees to back it — similar to the TV model. Second, if a series is not sponsored, Mode can place advertising around the content, and again Mode pays a percentage to the author. Finally, an advertiser can pay an author to create branded entertainment content directly for it, which is an advertorial.
Mode is now positioning itself as the second-largest site hosting videos in socially driven feeds, after only Facebook. While YouTube has a ton of video, it doesn’t customize your feed based on things like what your friends are sharing — something that Facebook and Mode do.
And with its process of verifying professionals, Mode is a unique animal. It’s hard to define without visiting it for yourself. Mostly it feels like a cross between Tumblr and YouTube, but with social elements thrown in.
Mode is also going all in on Mode.com as its central hub. Less focus will be put on its separate brands, such as Glam, Foodie, Brash, and Bliss. The separate mobile apps for those brands are now gone, replaced by the Mode Stories App on iOS. Three years ago, Mode had almost no traffic on mobile. Today, however, the company has 98 million unique mobile users, or seventh in the U.S., according to the company.
It’s the only private company in the top 20 of comScore’s Media Matrix.
The new platform took 2.5 years to build, and is based on the acquisition Glam made four years ago of the Ning social network.
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