2 Out of 3 Revver Founders Leave the Company

December 20, 2006

Changes afoot at video company Revver; AdAge (via PaidContent) reports that co-founders Ian Clarke and Oliver Luckett are departing from the company. Remaining co-founder and CEO Steven Starr will be joined by executives Kevin Wells, David Armitage and Angela Gyetvan are joining the company.

Some observers believe it’s a VC initiated changing of the guard. The company issued a statement saying that the changes were “intended to advance the company’s infrastructure and bolster its marketing and advertising efforts in 2007.”

Revver sells its own still frame post roll ads. Selling video ads at all is difficult, making a company profitable with still frame post rolls seems like a strategy unlikely to prove sustainable. I think we can expect to see major changes not just to the roster of Revver advertisers over the next year, but probably to the fundamental revenue model as well.

Though the company has landed some high profile talent, including Ze Frank, Lonelygirl15, EepyBird and AskANinja – a number of other talented content producers have questioned the prospects for anyone but the biggest stars to be well compensated through the current system. I like the Revver vision and click on ads every time I get to the end of a Revver video, but I will be interested to see what the Revver experience is like 3 or 6 months from now.


Amazon to Sell DRM Free MP3s

December 20, 2006

Rumors are going around, starting at music industry blog HypeBot and discussed at SeekingAlpha today, that Amazon is working on a music store with DRM free MP3 tracks and variable pricing. This is a big story. On both levels such a move by a major player in the industry could put pressure on Apple to change the way it sells music in iTunes.

Consensus appears to be that if such an Amazon store does open, it will likely be filled mostly with music from independent labels and less-than-new releases from major labels. Yahoo! though has been experimenting in recent months with selling singles from relatively high profile artists without DRM.

My off-the-cuff thought is that iTunes would be more likely to include variable pricing per song than they would be to get rid of DRM. Lower priced music would be more competitive with free pirated content (still iTunes’ biggest competition as far as I can tell) but the company’s dominance in the MP3 player market makes their DRM remain highly viable.

One way or the other, it looks like Amazon may be making one of the boldest moves we’ve seen in some time. Many people have also asked what this would mean for eMusic, a service that sells MP3s without DRM for as little as 25 cents.