Need a video about your startup? Newspepper goes freemium

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You want a video about your startup. You don’t have a huge budget. Video production companies are quoting you an arm-and-a-leg-price. Well now there’s a new option. Admittedly it’s not a tech company, but, in fairness, Newspepper and founder Hermione Way have been a staunch supporter of tech startups that they kind know how the space works.

Way says she is bringing a ‘fremium model to media production’. In essense that means giving students and graduates internships to create much cheaper video projects – but thus allowing the students to learn on the job and apply their skills practically before moving into the industry.The upshot? You can get a free video where the quality is not guaranteed, or you can pay the professional rate where it is. Now students join the site and basially get rated n their skills, so it’s a kind of community play.

There are lots of websites already connecting interns with internships; Enternships, Interninc Urbaninterns,, Internshipking to name a few. Whatever you think, it seems to have worked, working with Channel 4, NESTA and the BBC since 2008 (and TechCrunch).

Services (1st cut) from Newspepper on Vimeo.

  • tim

    This sounds a bit counter-productive to me.

    Giving free videos and photos away loses work for people higher up the chain where the students want to be in the future, except they’ll be less work.

    Also low quality photos and videos damages your brand. I don’t think you need to invest a tonne of money but the days of slinging up anything and people being amazed because it’s video,and it plays smoothly on the web are over.

    Viewers are more educated and seeking better quality all the time.

    They actually don’t care who has made it but if it looks bad they’ll think you as a company must be struggling as because your videos are so poor.

    Going for the paid route seems ok but then there are a lot of individuals and small production companies who offer excellent quality and ideas in a style that may suit your brand. My hunch is people like to deal with smaller niche Video Producers with a distinctive style who give more attention to less clients rather than the factory approach where you only get the freelancer sub-contracted in who happens to be available.

  • hermione way

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for your feedback, however let me explain further how it works to you can fully understand or model which we’ve worked hard to get right;

    Our aim is to give students and graduates paid internships, but we only pay them when they are professional enough to warrant getting paid.

    In our experience, just as some students and graduates are very professional, some are incompetent and need training and experience in the professional world before they can be trusted with paid work.

    We do offer our our clients ‘excellent quality and ideas in a style that suits their brand’ but they pay professional rates for these services and get interns who have gone through our Star Rating Training Program and are trained to professional freelance standard.

    If, however, the client doesn’t have any budget they can still get media services from our interns in training, but we do not guarantee the quality.

    So it’s up top the client whether they want quality media or not, but we can provide media services whatever their budget.

    Also we don’t just do video services, we also do livestreaming, blogging, photography, social media management and journalism services too.

    • Dave Nattriss

      I think you’re missing Tim’s point about the potential damage of allowing bad quality work to go out there with the Newspepper name on it. Are you going to add a disclaimer at the start of all unpaid work to explain why the quality may not be so good?

      His other point is that you are devaluing your service, by giving away a potentially lower quality of it for free. Some customers may decide never to use the paid version.

      I don’t think you addressed either of these points in your response?

  • Simon

    Sounds great, we need a video soon for a funding option here in the uk and this is ideal for us!

  • tom

    Great idea Hermione! Where do I sign up?

    • tom

      have signed up through :)

  • paul

    I’m with Tim, why would I want a video that might turn out bad because it can’t be guaranteed because of student labour?

    It’s like saying let me get a logo and website built for £50 it’ll do the trick, and maybe no-one will notice.

    It still takes the same time to set up or to involve people who appear in it and everyone’s time is money so why would you risk a bad video to represent what you do and have to possibly reshoot (if it’s not a one off event of course)

    Send a properly sourced and paid videomaker with a student acting as their assistant to learn the ropes then it works.

  • Ian

    I signed up on the Newspepper website when this article came out and got an automated response “Thanks for getting in touch. Please bear with us whilst we iron out a few last bits of the site over the next couple of weeks and then we will be in touch connecting you with an intern!”.

    They didn’t get in touch. So I chased, but didn’t get a reply.

    Followed up again a few days ago and still no reply.

    I wonder if this freemium model ever managed to get off the ground?

    Hopefully their videos are better than their customer service.

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