Yesterday, Dmitry Shapiro, founder of Veoh, put together an incredibly respectful post going over the in’s and outs of Veoh going bankrupt.

First off must say I have a ton of respect for the Veoh team, Dmitry, and the product itself. It was always incredible seeing the pure amount of technology come out from the Veoh team.

Also, being a co-founder of a video site myself, I can’t imagine how painful it must have been getting stuck in court instead of working on the product and going bankrupt because of that. Not sure I would have handled it as gracefully as Dmitry did.

Allow me to take a step into memory lane…

It is 3 years ago and the race of the video destination. Veoh, Revver, vMix, vSocial and the 800 pound gurilla… All of us competing with features, community and spending a ton of money to do so.

What I want to share is how Viddler has lucked out into building built a sustainable business where others have failed:

  1. 1/50th Raised in Funding – in total Viddler has raised less then $2M in funds. Not on purpose either.. We really just couldn’t raise more funds then this. Whether it be bad location, crowded space, or me being first time entrepreneur, this is tiny round compared to the sites we were competing with. What it forced us to do is stay small, control our budget, and get profitable based on lower overhead. Today, Viddler is 16 people. Everyone on board are rockstars at what they do and we are hiring at a slow and steady pace keeping the quality high.
  2. Market Maturity – video marketing adoption, personal branding, viewers watching video.. all of this has increased to where we are at a point where our product makes sense, and even worth paying for.
  3. Bandwidth Costs Affordable – three years ago, the price per GB of bandwidth we were paying was 50x what we are paying for now. If we were paying what we did 3 years ago we wouldn’t have a sustainable business today.
  4. Video Advertising with No Ad Sales Team – three years ago you needed to sell directly to advertisers to have a chance at selling preroll/overlay inventory. Now with the many different ad networks and standardization with VAST compliant networks it’s all about optimization. The $250k/year + commission VP of Ad Sales is no longer needed.
  5. English Focus – We haven’t had an international “non-english” presence at all. If it’s questionable, we can’t interpret it,  and overseas it’s not allowed on Viddler. This keeps costs down. Veoh was hosting alot of Anime. That content is expensive to delivery.
  6. Bethlehem, PA – An hour from Philadelphia and two hours from NYC, we might as well be based in the middle of nowhere. This has helped us focus on the product (instead of the local scene), stay under the radar with competition, and hire extremely talented people (no competition in Bethlehem) at significantly more affordable rates then California, Boston, or NYC.

Again, all the respect to Dmitry. Wish him the best in his next venture, and hope this conveys how we are still around, and going to be around for the long haul.


11 Responses to Veoh Bankrupt, what did Viddler do differently?

  1. Great post, Rob. Glad to hear that Viddler is doing well. After the Veoh news, I’d been a bit concerned.

  2. jason says:

    Thanks for sharing these details and these insights. Continued good luck/smart execution!

  3. Chris says:

    I enjoyed this post. Kind of surprised you didn’t mention your focus on business customers?

  4. Jim_S says:

    I remain impressed with the product and your approach.

  5. dean collins says:

    while i’ve never looked into your space/product, i totally hear what you are saying about keepign an eye on the bottom line.

    too many startups i see are takign on too much investment that can never have a realistic roi set for their product so they have to increase the spend to make an even bigger splash.

    whatever happened to building sustainable rather than buyout only?

  6. Aaron Booth says:

    Your team delivers a superb product and your personal attention to customer support has been excellent. Keep up the great work and Viddler will do well.

  7. Rob,

    Wishing you the best moving forward. You have built a great service, and your points are right on. Keep it small, focus on optimization, don’t chase too much $$$, etc.

    Please let me know if I can help in any way.

    All the best,


  8. Was able to prank Backblaze on Failblog yesterday by submitting a screenshot generated by a modified URL on Backblaze.

  9. this autonomous helicopter or the fact that Engadget is embedding MIT video (which uses Viddler Business Services)…

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