I generally do not do product reviews in my blog. Primarily because I am almost always disappointed due to “over sell, and under deliver” situations caused by lack of communication between PR and development. I don’t like to complain, if I don’t have anything of my own to bring. This time, however, I will make an exception. First, because I took some time off work yesterday to meet up with some people who were going to present a “revolution” in online video. Secondly, because I still think this product is worth noting.
So. To begin.
The invite e-mails were really good, the count down website hinted that great stuff was to be revealed. I got excited. Cool, I thought. Someone who MUST have something unique to say. Felt the little tingle in my groin. Perhaps I could get a Thursday treat? Perhaps someone had solved the problem of video production? Perhaps someone, perhaps 23 Video, would deem to be the product I brought to clients, and challenged them on their stale text pages.
To keep a long story short. I was disappointed. Not because the product sucked. It actually didn’t. But because it solves a problem which does not exist, with a solution I don’t need. If you say that you are going to revolutionize an online medium, then you’d better bring it. Otherwise people take time off work, only to get disappointed.
Although I was disappointed. I still think there are a few reasons you should consider buying.
What USPs do 23 Video have?
23 Videos own USPs were quite unclear. I heard the two words Simple and Control. Meaning it is simple to setup and it is easy to control. If you are a corporation looking for a good skin to a video website. Then this is one out of a dozen such services which will provide you with an easy to use video interface. Thus. Neither Simple, nor Control, should be anything new to you.
For me, the true USPs are in the back end. The videos are search engine friendly and you can easily setup scrapers to re-publish them on other websites. Perhaps a more difficult thing to sell to marketeers, but it breaths quality of some sort. I still lack the simple transcript possibilities and annotations that YouTube offers, but other than that it is quite a nice technical solution.
However. The problem with building your own video website is that no one will visit it unless you market it. Marketing your video website requires resources and you will never beat YouTube in distribution capabilities. Thus, for me, unless you offer a skinned version of YouTube, cheaper than the custom channels of they sell themselves, then you are not going to convince me that this is a good solution for distribution of video. If you are going to use video for communication purposes, distribution, and not storage, is the main concern.
Why does not 23 video solve THE problem?
23 Video seems to be an easily customizable platform. But I have never heard that customization, nor development costs is what holds corporations willing to do video, back. What holds them back is the video production. 23 Video, regardless of ease of use, does not solve this problem. No matter how many upload possibilities there are, people still have to consider what to do the video of.
In relation to images, tweets and comments – that are spontaneous events. Video, blog posts, campaigns are objects that trigger consideration. A product that is truly going to revolutionize video, needs to help the user take care of the consideration aspect. We have seen attempts of doing this by offering video templates in iMovie, JayCut and other such products. However, the area still needs further innovation to really take off. 23 video does not even aim at solving this problem and thus video production will remain an issue.
The pricing model is not that great either. 1. You still have to bring in a developer to setup your service. 2. You then pay a subscription fee which is more than the monthly fee for Panda and Amazon hosting. Thus it doesn’t save you money.
Why do I think you should buy it although I don’t like it?
So. Why should you buy 23 Video. Well, because it is easy to buy. You pay, setup and go. It is probably one of the better “out of the box” experiences I have seen for setting up a video website. You don’t even have to consult the IT-department. Nor have you got to talk to the security guys of your large corporation.
If you got the 500 bucks per month, you can make this happen from the Marketing or Communications department.Thus!!! And a very important THUS!! You don’t have to wait, which in the end might save you money as a result of not having to care about what IT believes is right or wrong.
Secondly, their 100% Human – customer service – looks really promising. This means you have a personal contact within the company that will help you setup and get going with your installation of the service.
I got pissed by the haussed PR preceding the launch, in contrast to what was offered. I didn’t like the way the product was displayed, and I didn’t think they brought anything new to the table. Thus, they didn’t revolutionize anything yesterday.
However, they have managed to package video websites in a format which is easy to buy for the client. Given that their 100% Human approach is actually what you get, I think it is worth while to have a look at.