Last fall, Magnify acquired Waywire in an effort to create more efficiency around video curation. The idea behind the acquisition was to combine the former’s enterprise video curation business with the latter’s content deals and consumer-facing technology.
At the time, I wrote:
In some ways, the matchup makes a lot of sense — both companies, after all, have the shared vision of empowering users to find, collect, and share videos with others. But in other ways, the tie-up of Waywire and Magnify shows a stark contrast in how the different companies hoped to achieve that vision.
On the one hand, Magnify had spent seven years (!!!!!) building a very steady business providing tools to enterprise clients who wished to manage and curate their own channels of video content. Waywire, meanwhile, got ahead of itself by promising a consumer-facing curation platform that never quite fully launched.
After several months, the combined company has resolved the technical side of things, as well as its branding, to relaunch as Waywire and release a new product called Waywire Enterprise.
The platform takes advantage of Magnify’s curation chops, as well as the content deals that Waywire had signed, to offer up both enterprise and consumer-facing products. Already, Waywire will have legacy clients on the enterprise side like AARP and TED.
On the content side, the new Waywire has video from hundreds of content providers available, including providers like Conde Nast, Yahoo, AOL, Discovery, BBC and MSNBC.
While the enterprise business will help pay the bills, the company is looking to expand the opportunity for advertising on channels of content that are curated by its users, using videos that are available through the Waywire deals.
Examples for shows like The Walking Dead and Game Of Thrones are already available, with people who have been approved by Waywire building pages of videos that are relevant to those topics. The same model is being applied to allow curators to find and curate video clips of their favorite celebrities or musicians.
That focus so far has been on content in the entertainment category, but Waywire CEO Steve Rosenbaum says there is an opportunity to create highly relevant curated channels about any number of topics, from education to healthcare.
Potential curators are now able to apply to run channels that they are experts in, and Waywire will vet those curators before handing over the keys to those channels. Rosenbaum said this would allow for very specialized channels, like a specialist curating a channel on a specific healthcare topic, for instance.
With those channels, Waywire is hoping to attract “audiences” that will be attractive to advertisers -and our partners who have ad sales organizations. The idea is to change the current mass media approach to advertising, where agencies try to reach audiences at scale, but find their messages may only be applicable to a certain portion of the people watching.
It’s an ambitious goal, but one that Waywire believes it now has the platform, content, and audience, to achieve.