Videojug poaches UK Web veteran

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It’s interesting that UK-based Videojug, the ‘how to’ video website, has attracted the likes of Nancy Cruickshank, the high-profile head of Hearst Digital, to become its global chief executive. Videojug founder Dan Thompson will move into the chairman’s seat. Videojug has 30,000 ‘How to’ and ‘Ask the Experts’ video clips, which it shares with media partners such as MSN and Virgin Media. It won £15m in private equity funding in May and officially launched in the US in June.

Cruickshank is a UK web veteran. She launched Conde Naste’s online operations in the mid-90s, later going on to greater feats, including seeing Boots joint venture Handbag.com through to a sale to NatMags, the UK arm of Hearst, after a six-year stint. She has been Hearst Digital MD for the last 12 months, but appears to have caught the startup bug again. In the 90s she co-founded ‘moving house’ website Smove, which was sold to Norwich Union in 2000 (and no longer exists). In an email to me she said Videojug was a “global opportunity” and had a “great team with track record”.

Let’s hope so. There are an increasing number of ‘How to’ video sites.

In the summer Israel-based internet company, E-learning Knowledge Solutions, launched SuTree, a video aggregation service where users can add and categorise instructional videos from across the web, providing a directory of video that would often be buried on the host sites.

5min is another ‘instructional video’ Israeli startup similar to YouTube, where content is hosted on the site and is user submitted. Video creators can add a storyboard to uploaded videos to help others better understand the content. To aid learning video on 5min can be played in slow motion or frame by frame, and the inline player supports zooming in and out for a more up close experience. Let’s see Videojug do that.

Videojug’s main revenue stream currently is advertising. The pitch is that when people use VideoJug they are most often asking “how do I do X”, which creates a opportunity for advertisers to answer the “what do I need?” and “where can I get it?” questions. This pre-qualifies the audience for MPUs, post-roll video advertisements and bespoke sponsorships.

However, I didn’t find many ads on the site and – in the UK at least – is still a very early market. It may be that Videojug fairs better with its B2B play of syndicating content to existing media owners than relying on advertising. But the jury is still out.

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