A new startup called Strike Social says its tools give YouTube publishers a way to track how their content is performing on the video site and on social networks, and at a pretty compelling price — free.
The first big piece of the Strike Social product is a number, called the Strike Score, that reflects the overall performance of your YouTube content. CEO Patrick McKenna said the company looks at “more than 100 datasets” from YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to calculate the score, and tracking that number over time should give you a sense of whether your performance is improving.
You can dig in to get more detailed data, too, looking at the total number of views, engagements, and subscribers for your channel, and at the performance of individual videos. Publishers can also look at what people are saying about the video, sort those comments based on the size of each commenter’s social media following, and respond to specific remarks from within Strike Social — in particular, McKenna says that the tools are “more actionable on the Facebook side” than the competition.
So why offer these tools for free? Well, McKenna wants to charge eventually for premium services, but he said everything that he showed me will remain free, and that the company will also be selling advertising tools. (When the company’s Frequently Asked Questions page addresses the free question, it says, “Strike Social is chock-full of YouTube marketing experts and we hope to earn your online video promotion business.”)
He acknowledged that paid products offer some features beyond what Strike Social can offer for free, but he argued that the product is competitive, with advantages like the Facebook engagement features mentioned above, and for that reason “it’s going to be tough” for competitors to justify their prices to clients.
(In that discussion, he didn’t mention a specific company, but vidIQ came up at a couple of other points in our discussion. When I asked about his pricing, co-founder and CEO Robert Sandie pointed out that vidIQ also offers a free version, while he said pricing for the premium plan starts at $2,000 a month.)
McKenna also described the current product as version “0.1″, and he said he wants to add features that give more insight into the distribution channels, geographies, and social networks where content performs best, and to provide more recommendations around publishing and advertising videos.