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Building An Internet
Video Company in 2013
Mark Suster - @msuster
(September 2013)
Background
2
 2x Entrepreneur
(sold 2nd
to Salesforce.com)
 Partner, Upfront Ventures
(large LA-based VC fund)
 First i...
I’ll cover 5 topics
3
 Why the Haters are wrong about YouTube
 Why YouTube is wrong about the Haters
 Why video is the ...
There has been a recent chorus of “can
you really build a business on YouTube?”
Jason Calacanis has written a few very art...
The core of the problem starts with the
revenue share YouTube takes
MCN = multi-channel network, the term given to the gro...
And much of the MCN talent takes 70%+
6
MCN – 55% YouTube – 45%
MCN –
30%
Talent – 70+%
So when you really look at it, MCN margin
looks like “ad networks” with very similar
properties
Ad networks typically have...
But MCNs have enormous scale & assets.
The best can break out if they:
8
 Produce content (not just aggregate)
 Build di...
You don’t “build a YouTube business.” YouTube is
a video distributor. People who make products
always have clashed with di...
10
Think of YouTube as the Walmart of video
11
If you sold candy bars you could sell at Walmart
(at low margins, high volume)
text
12
Or your local specialty shop
(fat margins,
limited volume)
Walmart is a powerhouse that can
command margins.
Source: statistic brain (http://www.statisticbrain.com/wal-mart-company-...
YouTube is a Powerhouse, too.
14
 1 billion monthly uniques (40% of global online
pop)
 6 billion hours per month
 > 15...
YouTube has 63% market share in total
videos watched (units) per month
15 Source: Nielsen Top Online Destination Video Sit...
YouTube has 4x the uniques of its nearest
competitor in the US
16 Source: Nielsen Top Online Destination Video Sites Data,...
17
 4 billion
video
views /
month
 260 million
subscribers
 80%
audience
13-34
 40%
mobile
 30
engineers
 50%
intern...
18
1. Sell at Walmart: build scale &
brand awareness.
2. Fulfill at local retailers or your
own shop :
 Serve more loyal ...
19
Working with YouTube
is No Different
But Don’t Confuse
Distribution with Your
Business Model
YouTube is simply the top end of your profit
funnel
ARPU = Average revenue per user20
YouTube
Affiliates
O&O
Mobile Apps
R...
21
The Name of the Game is
“Margin Expansion”
You can’t be stuck in
a 16.5% world
1. Drive most ardent fans to highest margin
channels. Advertisers will covet these
viewers.
Note: O&O still has some distr...
2. Must produce content & have some
formats that are talent independent.
Note: This is not saying you shouldn’t be “talent...
24
If you’re simply
aggregating talent or
content you are an ad
network
(or a talent agency)
Your business business should be able to
achieve average profit margins of 50-60%.
25
Distribution
– 20%
MCN – 60%
Talent ...
26
I’d stay where
the customers
are: YouTube.
Haters Gonna Hate
5 Topics
27
 Why the Haters are wrong about YouTube
 Why YouTube is wrong about the Haters
 Why video is the future of ...
28
YouTube’s strategy seems to be
ignore the MCNs
(who have no alternatives)
YouTube maintaining split is possible
due to ...
29
You can whack us but it just
makes us pop up elsewhere faster
It’s a classic “Innovator’s
Dilemma” situation
30
And anyway if YouTube
wants a sustainable
ecosystem it needs
profitable partners
YouTube unquestionably provides value for
producers, much not fully appreciated.
CDN = Content distribution network. It mo...
32
The strongest competition for
YouTube isn’t going to come from
the most likely sources:
Yahoo!, Microsoft, Facebook,
Tw...
The biggest threat is Amazon, the real
online “Walmart” who prices to win.
I reckon Amazon is the most serious threat to Y...
34
Amazon thrives on
“disruptive technology” -
Lower prices, lower margin,
win market share
YouTube could choose to stave
...
Amazon is a powerhouse and has already
built streaming infrastructure.
Note: Nobody ever asked Amazon to cut AWS prices. T...
36
YouTube can ignore the
MCNs,
but ultimately the
competition won’t
5 Topics
37
 Why the Haters are wrong about YouTube
 Why YouTube is wrong about the Haters
 Why video is the future of ...
Many VCs are convinced that video is a
“hits driven” business given historical model
38
 High budgets due to scarcity of
...
But online is a totally new game. Much
more programmable & predictable
39
Production Distribution
99%
Traditional TV =
$10...
40
For the first time in history content
producers can build direct
relationships with their customers
Content businesses ...
High costs, “star” founders & high failure rates41
Ironically consumer Internet
increasingly becoming a
hits driven busine...
Video Category HH:MM YoY Change
Traditional TV 5:11 1%
Time-Shifted TV (DVR, VOD) 0:26 10%
DVD / Blu-Ray 0:12 -3%
Online V...
Consumers are obviously increasing video created
& shared. Tolerance for “less produced” video
increases with youth
Source...
5 Topics
44
 Why the Haters are wrong about YouTube
 Why YouTube is wrong about the Haters
 Why video is the future of ...
1. Technology is critical. You will not win
online without it. Either invest millions like
Maker, FullScreen, TasteMade or...
Important tech components
(examples)
46
 Analytics & conversion tracking to understand what’s
working and guide productio...
47
Epoxy.TV helps with audience development
of individuals who watch a video
will watch at least one additional
video
48%
...
2. Production – Online media companies must have
production as well as packaging / programming
48
MCN: 10-30%Talent: 70-90...
3. Build Direct Customer Relationships – it is the
currency of online power
49
Cookies
(for targeting)
Email Addresses
Soc...
4. Globalize – no physical distribution limitations so
online video businesses can be truly global.
Source: YouTube stats,...
5. Create non-ad revenue streams such as
licensing, gaming & transmedia packaging
Statistic Brain Star Wars Total Franchis...
5 Topics
52
 Why the Haters are wrong about YouTube
 Why YouTube is wrong about the Haters
 Why video is the future of ...
The Future of Video
53
 Lower quality
 Non-linear storylines
 Think video games
 Mobile
 Templatized
 Personalized
W...
Thank you
Mark Suster - @msuster
(September 2013)
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Want to build an online video company? Interested in the YouTube MCN space? Learn some lessons from one of the first and largest investors in this space- Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures. The doc will give you guidance on how to build more profitably.

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Online video market sept 2013

  1. Building An Internet Video Company in 2013 Mark Suster - @msuster (September 2013)
  2. Background 2  2x Entrepreneur (sold 2nd to Salesforce.com)  Partner, Upfront Ventures (large LA-based VC fund)  First investor in Maker Studios (along with Greycroft)  Lead investor in Epoxy.TV  Looking for more investments in video Blog: BothSidesoftheTable Video: http://www.youtube.com/show/thisweekinventurecapital
  3. I’ll cover 5 topics 3  Why the Haters are wrong about YouTube  Why YouTube is wrong about the Haters  Why video is the future of the Internet (& why most investors don’t yet understand this)  What’s an MCN to do?  Future of Video?
  4. There has been a recent chorus of “can you really build a business on YouTube?” Jason Calacanis has written a few very articulate posts. But many are saying it private & in the press.4
  5. The core of the problem starts with the revenue share YouTube takes MCN = multi-channel network, the term given to the group of large YouTube networks aggregating content5 MCN – 55% YouTube – 45% Mobile App Developers – 70% Apple – 30% Vs.
  6. And much of the MCN talent takes 70%+ 6 MCN – 55% YouTube – 45% MCN – 30% Talent – 70+%
  7. So when you really look at it, MCN margin looks like “ad networks” with very similar properties Ad networks typically have 15-17.5% margins on the ads they broker7 YouTube – 45% MCN – 16.5% Talent –38.5%
  8. But MCNs have enormous scale & assets. The best can break out if they: 8  Produce content (not just aggregate)  Build direct customer relationships  Develop O&O business  Have business models that aren’t only ad- based O&O = owned & operated aka your own websites or mobile apps.
  9. You don’t “build a YouTube business.” YouTube is a video distributor. People who make products always have clashed with distributors / channel partners. 9 July 29, 2013
  10. 10 Think of YouTube as the Walmart of video
  11. 11 If you sold candy bars you could sell at Walmart (at low margins, high volume)
  12. text 12 Or your local specialty shop (fat margins, limited volume)
  13. Walmart is a powerhouse that can command margins. Source: statistic brain (http://www.statisticbrain.com/wal-mart-company-statistics/)13 $34 Billion Sales / Month 4,253 Locations 1,000,000 Customers / Week 19 World Rank if a Country 8% % of All US $ Spent
  14. YouTube is a Powerhouse, too. 14  1 billion monthly uniques (40% of global online pop)  6 billion hours per month  > 150 videos watched / year for every human
  15. YouTube has 63% market share in total videos watched (units) per month 15 Source: Nielsen Top Online Destination Video Sites Data, September 2012
  16. YouTube has 4x the uniques of its nearest competitor in the US 16 Source: Nielsen Top Online Destination Video Sites Data, September 2012
  17. 17  4 billion video views / month  260 million subscribers  80% audience 13-34  40% mobile  30 engineers  50% internationa l
  18. 18 1. Sell at Walmart: build scale & brand awareness. 2. Fulfill at local retailers or your own shop :  Serve more loyal / ardent customers  Better selection  Niche products  Much higher margins
  19. 19 Working with YouTube is No Different But Don’t Confuse Distribution with Your Business Model
  20. YouTube is simply the top end of your profit funnel ARPU = Average revenue per user20 YouTube Affiliates O&O Mobile Apps Registered Customers  Loyal /passionate customers  Higher ARPU  Higher margins  With less volume
  21. 21 The Name of the Game is “Margin Expansion” You can’t be stuck in a 16.5% world
  22. 1. Drive most ardent fans to highest margin channels. Advertisers will covet these viewers. Note: O&O still has some distribution costs associated with marketing, bandwidth & storage22 YouTube – 45% MCN – 16.5% Talent –38.5% Affiliate – 30%MCN – 31.5% O&O – 15% MCN – 46.5% 60% 20% 20% Operating Margins % Traffic
  23. 2. Must produce content & have some formats that are talent independent. Note: This is not saying you shouldn’t be “talent friends” just that you should also consider formats that are less dependent on talent.23 YouTube – 45% MCN – 16.5% Talent –38.5% 50% 30% 20% Operating Margins % Traffic Aggregated Channels – 35.75% Non-Talent Formats – 45% Talent – 19.25% Talent –10%
  24. 24 If you’re simply aggregating talent or content you are an ad network (or a talent agency)
  25. Your business business should be able to achieve average profit margins of 50-60%. 25 Distribution – 20% MCN – 60% Talent – 20% Sustainable Operating Margins  Transmedia  Licensing / gaming deals  Internationalization Then layer on even more revenue:
  26. 26 I’d stay where the customers are: YouTube. Haters Gonna Hate
  27. 5 Topics 27  Why the Haters are wrong about YouTube  Why YouTube is wrong about the Haters  Why video is the future of the Internet (& why most investors don’t yet understand this)  What’s an MCN to do?  Future of Video?
  28. 28 YouTube’s strategy seems to be ignore the MCNs (who have no alternatives) YouTube maintaining split is possible due to incredible market power; however, it is unwise Or persuade us how valuable they are by providing us all this great, free technology
  29. 29 You can whack us but it just makes us pop up elsewhere faster It’s a classic “Innovator’s Dilemma” situation
  30. 30 And anyway if YouTube wants a sustainable ecosystem it needs profitable partners
  31. YouTube unquestionably provides value for producers, much not fully appreciated. CDN = Content distribution network. It moves content to the edges of the Internet to make it faster to consume.31 Storage The YouTube Stack Hosting CDN Tools (ie annotations) Ad Sales Audience Development Infrastructure
  32. 32 The strongest competition for YouTube isn’t going to come from the most likely sources: Yahoo!, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter Or even Hulu, Netflix, HBO
  33. The biggest threat is Amazon, the real online “Walmart” who prices to win. I reckon Amazon is the most serious threat to YouTube and that few people perceive this today.33 Storage The YouTube Stack Hosting CDN Tools (ie annotations) Ad Sales Audience Development Storage Amazon Strong Market Position Hosting CDN Ad Sales Could launch easily & aggressively given consumer relationships Dominates
  34. 34 Amazon thrives on “disruptive technology” - Lower prices, lower margin, win market share YouTube could choose to stave off competition by emulating Amazon (AWS) now & take a long view
  35. Amazon is a powerhouse and has already built streaming infrastructure. Note: Nobody ever asked Amazon to cut AWS prices. They did it to engender loyalty & to keep out new competitors. 35 > 30 Million Estimated Kindle Fire Users $5.25 Billion Sales / Month 219 Million Active Users > 35x Price Cuts in AWS $140 Billion Mkt Cap
  36. 36 YouTube can ignore the MCNs, but ultimately the competition won’t
  37. 5 Topics 37  Why the Haters are wrong about YouTube  Why YouTube is wrong about the Haters  Why video is the future of the Internet (& why most investors don’t yet understand this)  What’s an MCN to do?  Future of Video?
  38. Many VCs are convinced that video is a “hits driven” business given historical model 38  High budgets due to scarcity of time slots  Large marketing budget required to build audience  No customer relationship, no customer interaction  Thus hits driven business, with large failure rate Production Distribution  Maximize value of limited “slots” + 8 minutes of ads  No ability to run iterative process  Substitute TV stations for movie theaters & same scarcity exists 8:00 – 8:30 PM 8:30 – 9:00 PM Time Slots
  39. But online is a totally new game. Much more programmable & predictable 39 Production Distribution 99% Traditional TV = $100,000 / minute YouTube Video = $1,000 / minute ∞  With unlimited distribution you can test content cheaply  Content can be evergreen, repackaged, repurposed  Audiences become global (ie Gangnam Style)
  40. 40 For the first time in history content producers can build direct relationships with their customers Content businesses feel more like Gilt Groupe than traditional TV
  41. High costs, “star” founders & high failure rates41 Ironically consumer Internet increasingly becoming a hits driven business with its own set of stars
  42. Video Category HH:MM YoY Change Traditional TV 5:11 1% Time-Shifted TV (DVR, VOD) 0:26 10% DVD / Blu-Ray 0:12 -3% Online Video 0:16 54% Mobile Video 0:11 9% People are consuming > 6 hours of video a day. That won’t change. The future of the Internet will be video. Sources: iab/GfK MultiMedia Mentor April 2013, Video from Nielsen Cross Platform June 2013. 42 Average Daily Media Usage (HH:MM) 6:04 6:16 0:55 1:05 0:48 0:48 2:25 2:33
  43. Consumers are obviously increasing video created & shared. Tolerance for “less produced” video increases with youth Sources: YouTube, NPD In-Stat Research Report 2012, Onavo 7/2013 43
  44. 5 Topics 44  Why the Haters are wrong about YouTube  Why YouTube is wrong about the Haters  Why video is the future of the Internet (& why most investors don’t yet understand this)  What’s an MCN to do?  Future of Video?
  45. 1. Technology is critical. You will not win online without it. Either invest millions like Maker, FullScreen, TasteMade or … 45 Use “tools companies” that are emerging
  46. Important tech components (examples) 46  Analytics & conversion tracking to understand what’s working and guide production & audience development  A/B testing everything & every platform: content drop-off rates, link text, thumbnail images, influencers  Audience development tools to build fans, followers & influencers. Gather email addresses, mobile phone numbers, “likes,” twitter followers.  Asset management to tag video and repurpose for future distribution  Content management systems to build out O&O and mobile businesses O&O = owned & operated aka your own websites or mobile apps.
  47. 47 Epoxy.TV helps with audience development of individuals who watch a video will watch at least one additional video 48% Creators YouTubers, Brands, Agencies, Networks Epoxy drives follow-on views, organic growth and audience engagement Viewers Watch, share and engage with content on preferred platforms and devices view rates of shares with Epoxy links are over two times the view rate of sharing with a YouTube link 2x view ratefor Epoxy follow-on viewers, on average, over 4 videos are watched at a time 4x exposure
  48. 2. Production – Online media companies must have production as well as packaging / programming 48 MCN: 10-30%Talent: 70-90% These margins aren’t sustainable media company margins, they are “talent agency” margins Without some production you’re just a middle man, which often get squeezed.
  49. 3. Build Direct Customer Relationships – it is the currency of online power 49 Cookies (for targeting) Email Addresses Social Follows Social Integrations Mobile Application / Push Notification Easier to get More valuable
  50. 4. Globalize – no physical distribution limitations so online video businesses can be truly global. Source: YouTube stats, 201350 YouTube Traffic The best MCNs will build truly global operations
  51. 5. Create non-ad revenue streams such as licensing, gaming & transmedia packaging Statistic Brain Star Wars Total Franchise Revenue51 70% of Star Wars Franchise Revenue outside of movie sales Many recent examples of licensing successes
  52. 5 Topics 52  Why the Haters are wrong about YouTube  Why YouTube is wrong about the Haters  Why video is the future of the Internet (& why most investors don’t yet understand this)  What’s an MCN to do?  The Future of Video
  53. The Future of Video 53  Lower quality  Non-linear storylines  Think video games  Mobile  Templatized  Personalized Who the F knows, but some thoughts …
  54. Thank you Mark Suster - @msuster (September 2013)
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Want to build an online video company? Interested in the YouTube MCN space? Learn some lessons from one of the first and largest investors in this space- Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures. The doc will give you guidance on how to build more profitably.

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