Billing itself as “the world’s first cross device mobile and digital platform,” startup Tube Centrex is planning to help YouTube stars, media companies, and others build and monetize apps for their online videos
Tube Centrex is led by Fahad Khan, previously founder of social marketing company One Public (where his younger brother Adil Khan is now president and CEO). Khan told me that while many brands and individuals are now reaching a big audience on video sites like YouTube, they’re still struggling to build their own mobile apps (which can be an expensive and time-intensive process), to make money on mobile, and to manage their videos across these services.
Khan thinks his team can solve that problem. It’s built a platform for pulling videos together from YouTube, Vimeo, and elsewhere, then publishing them in mobile and web apps. It also offers tools for monetization — for example it can insert additional video ads, or it can charge viewers for access.
Khan contrasted Tube Centrex’s approach to Vessel (a subscription service providing early access to videos from YouTube stars) and Victorious (which builds mobile apps for those stars). He argued that his service could potentially partner or integrate with Vessel, while it’s trying to reach a broader customer base than Victorious — not just YouTube stars but brands (such as luxury brands) and media companies.
“If you have great YouTube content, regardless of whether you’re a brand or an individual, you need my platform,” Khan said.
Pricing will be free for individual stars, while companies are charged $10,000 a month. Khan also emphasized that while Tube Centrex will offer a variety of app templates to choose from, he doesn’t plan to do a lot of custom app development.
Khan met me in Manhattan last week for the interview and for a quick demo of some sample apps (which are quick, simple, and do a nice job of putting the videos front and center). It turns out, however, that the company is based in Edgewater, New Jersey. In a follow-up email, Khan noted that Manhattan is getting expensive. And hey, it’s still reachable for his team.
“Having an office in Manhattan is overrated,” he said. “Serious founders are keeping offices close to where they live. For example, many new tech [companies] are now based in Brooklyn. [I agree!] Jet is based in Montclair, NJ. Songza was based in Long Island [City] before being bought by Google.”
You can read more about the product and see sample apps in Khan’s blog post.