ExpoTV

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ExpoTV
Type Private
Founded 2004
Headquarters New York, NY USA
Key people Daphne Kwon, CEO
Bill Hildebolt, President
Thi Luu, Senior Vice President, Web Operations
David Rubinstein, Vice President of Media Sales

ExpoTV.com is a video-oriented website run by Expo Communications, Inc., a New York based company. The website features video product reviews submitted by community members called “Videopinions” as well as original content produced in-house. As of September, 2007, over 200,000 video product reviews were available on the site[1]. In addition to running the website, the company also syndicates its content to partners. The company has won various awards for innovation.

Contents

Founding and Early History

The company was founded in 2004 in New York city by Daphne Kwon, formerly the CFO of Oxygen Media and her husband, Bill Hildebolt, formerly a venture capitalist at General Atlantic Partners. The initial concept focused on a cable channel idea, which was to feature product demonstrations with the content created by manufacturers and enhanced by Expo TV to ensure objectivity and consumer interest. The company secured carriage from most of the major cable operators in the United States and reached distribution into 25 million digital cable households on free video-on-demand platforms before winding the channel down in order to focus on its broadband efforts. [2].

Launch of Videopinions

In the summer of 2005, the company decided to invite consumers to participate in its programming and it launched an alpha program for what eventually became known as Videopinions. The company believes that it was the first website to productize consumer generated video product reviews[3]. Early efforts were hampered by the lack of available video upload tools and it took several months to get the technology working and consumers understanding the product.

In November, 2005, consumers uploaded over 1,900 Videopinions and growth in participation grew steadily during the 2006. During this period, the company worked to refine its technology and the standards that it asked the community to adhere to in order to ensure unbiased and helpful reviews.

The company believes and has stated in various press releases that it has the largest collection of video product reviews[1].

ExpoTV Community and Consumer Incentives for Participation

Only members of ExpoTV can submit Videopinions or other videos and they must agree to a set of Terms and Conditions that state (among other terms) that they are owners of the product, that they are not biased by conflicts of interest and that the review is their true opinion[4]. Several thousand people have contributed content and many members contribute content every month.

In order to compensate the community for their time and effort and to fairly compensate members for exclusive, unlimited rights to the content, Expo TV has provided various incentives for participation since the founding of the program. A new incentive structure was announced in September, 2009[5].

Expo TV does not reject reviews for expressing negative views on a product.

Products

Expo offers services to corporate clients including:

  • Licensing its video content
  • Licensing its technology
  • Tryology: sampling programs where sample recipients provide video-based feedback (these videos are distinguished from non-solicited reviews)
  • Video based consumer research programs

Online Syndication

The company syndicates content to various websites including YouTube, Yahoo!, and Smarter.com. Samples can be found respectively at http://video.yahoo.com/profile/46, http://www.smarter.com/.


Senior Management

The company continues to be managed by Kwon and Hildebolt. Other key employees include Thi Luu, the Senior Vice President of Operations who joined at the founding in May, 2004, from Amazon.com, and David Rubinstein, who joined the company in February, 2008 from Yahoo! to head media sales.

Funding

Early on the company was funded by “angel” investors, mostly former media executives in the New York city area. In December, 2006 the company received a round of venture capital funding announced at $6 mil from Masthead Venture Partners and Prism Ventureworks, two Boston based firms[6]. Later, the company announced that DFJ Gotham, a New York City fund related to the West Coast fund Draper Fisher Jurvetson, had joined the financing[7].

Awards

In the 4th Annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, ExpoTV was the winner for the Most Innovative Company of the Year and a finalist for the Web site of the Year award [8] ExpoTV's CEO, Daphne Kwon, was named as one of the Silicon Alley 100, an annual list of the most influential people in New York digital business. [9]

Blogs

ExpoTV maintains a blog[10] that features a variety of its content and also contains advice for entrepreneurs[11] and commentary on the new media space[12].

References

External links

Personal tools

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