Howcast fuels its video engine with data

Howcast, a New York producer of quality how-to videos, has gotten to 1 billion videos streamed since launching in 2008. The company has leaned heavily on data to inform all its decisions and ensure that its collection of 15,000 videos can keep producing revenue.

ShayCarl, Howcast and GE want you to ‘Tag Your Green’

GE has YouTube star ShayCarl doing a road trip all around the country to highlight green technology as part of its Ecomagination campaign. The campaign was produced by Howcast, which last year was able to drive 15 million YouTube video views to GE-sponsored videos.

YouTube Live Partners Get New Way to Connect With Audiences

YouTube launched a new feature with select partners that will allow them to stream programming live online. Through a two-day alpha trial with Howcast, Next New Networks, Rocketboom and Young Hollywood, YouTube and its partners will test the capabilities of the live streaming offering.

Vid Biz: TV Everywhere Fail, iPhone Jailbreak, Will Ferrel Wired

Today on the Net: Will Ferrell stars in an exclusive Wired iPad app video, Howcast is clocking 25 million video views per month, network execs want more ad dollars for TV Everywhere content and 3G iPhone users can now install Facetime by voiding their warranty.

5 Questions With…Howcast CEO Jason Liebman

Since 2007, CEO and co-founder Jason Liebman has overseen tremendous growth at Howcast, one of the leading how-to providers online, which streams tens of millions of videos every month. Today, he dishes about “viral video,” the lack of standards and Howcast’s approaching profitability.

Vid-Biz: Broadcast Upfronts, Howcast, Cord Cutters

Broadcast Networks Set for 20% Gain in Upfront Market; ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox should net approximately $8.26 billion in prime-time advertising commitments, up 20% from the $6.88 billion in 2009, according to research from Barclays. (AdAge)

Howcast Is Now Available on BlackBerry; the DIY video firm already had apps for the iPhone and Android, but announced the launch of its Howcast for BlackBerry application today. (Howcast blog)

One in Eight to Cut Cable, Satellite TV in 2010; a study by The Yankee Group found that many will choose to drop premium channels or cut their service down to a basic package, while others will choose to cut off their service completely. (

How to Pitch a YouTube Viewer; web video tracker TubeMogul evaluated the views generated by 10 different video ads, and found that users like ads with talking babies. (MediaMemo)

Apple Didn’t Kill Flash, HTML5 Did; The problem for Flash isn’t that it can’t adapt to contain other types of video; it is that software and hardware, particularly on the mobile side, have moved in a direction that natively supports the playback of H.264 content. (Mashable)

WaPo Plans Hundreds of LiveTV Shows from Newsroom Staff; The Washington Post is launching a platform for hundreds of reporters to host their own live programs live from their desks on a Webcam, via a simple interface with the Post’s content management system. (Beet.TV)

Vid-Biz: Canoe, Cable iPad Apps, Ustream

Canoe to Deliver Interactivity to Multiple Cable Operators This Year; Canoe Ventures has created a technology for cable subscribers to interact with programs and commercials in a more Web-like experience. (Beet.TV)

Cable Programmers Latch On To iPad Hype; Viacom’s MTV Networks, Discovery Communications, Disney/ABC Television and The Weather Channel all launched apps on the iPad. (Multichannel News)

Ustream to Bring Live Video to iPad; with the Ustream Viewer iPad app, users will be able to browse live streams and then interact with them via Ustream’s chat and social stream features. (Mashable)

Howcast Announces iPad Support; the new Howcast for iPad app is in beta, and will feature Howcast videos encoded in high-resolution H.264 to take advantage of the full screen. (Howcast blog)

Icahn Slashes Stake in Blockbuster; in an SEC filing, Icahn said he now controls 3.77 percent of the company’s Class A shares and 5.65 percent of its Class B shares, down from 5.14 percent of the A shares and 6.05 percent of B shares on March 31. (Tech Trader Daily)

The Economics of Cable vs. Broadcast Dramas; The typical cable drama costs $2 million to produce, compared to $3 million for a broadcast TV episode. (TV By the Numbers)

SPIN Taps Brightcove to Reach the iPad; SPIN Media will use the Brightcove Experience for HTML5 to ensure video content on will be available to visitors using Apple devices that do not support Flash video. (press release)

Vid-Biz: BBC, Chatroulette, Howcast

BBC Signals an End to Era of Expansion; The BBC will close two radio stations, shut half its website and cut spending heavily on imported American programmes in an overhaul of services to be announced next month. (Times Online)
Did Chatroulette Just Launch the Interactive Video Conferencing Boom?; Traffic on the site has almost doubled in a week, and approximately 75 percent of users seem to fall into the 18-24 age group. (AdAge)
Video Startup Howcast Finds Traction with Sponsored Content; Howcast is producing branded instruction videos for several companies including Kodak and will soon produce a series for GE. (Beet.TV)
Time Warner Cable Joins Internet-Safety Group; Cable company has joined the Family Online Safety Institute, an organization dedicated to promoting “the online world safer for kids and their families” whose members include Comcast, AT&T and Verizon Communications. (Multichannel News)
Is Music Video Distribution Broken? And If So, What Can Be Done?; David Del Beccaro, CEO of Music Choice, said that major music labels should have created a system where everyone in the distribution chain could make money instead of launching Vevo. (Streaming Media)
Showtime Sports Gets Interactive with MMA On FiOS; Showtime Networks and Verizon will debut a high-definition interactive TV application Friday that uses the cable industry’s Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format spec. (Multichannel News)

Vid-Biz: Voddler, TiVo, 5Min

VOD Site Voddler Gets Another $3.5 Million in Funding; Swedish film streaming site has picked up a further 26 million Swedish kronor ($3.5 million) in funding from Eqvitec Partners, bringing the total amount raised to SEK150 million ($20.2 million). (paidContent)

TiVo: New HD Box Coming?; Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Tony Wible points out that TiVo’s $250 HD DVR is out of stock on both and, which could reflect strong holiday sales or hint that a new product launch is on the way. (Tech Trader Daily)

5Min Is a Top 10 comScore Video Site; 5Min, a small startup with offices in New York and Israel, has landed the No. 10 spot for most viewed video property, according to numbers released by comScore. (Beet.TV)

Howcast Celebrates One Million Mobile Application Downloads; since its launch in February 2008, Howcast has become an industry leader in instructional video content. (press release)

DailyMotion Seeks to Double Its U.S. Market Share This Year; Paris-based video sharing site has been making progress in the U.S., including a 70 percent jump in U.S. traffic during 2009. (Beet.TV)

Sky Deutschland Launches Sky+ VOD; German pay-TV operator to introduce a push-VOD service later this year to viewers that have a satellite receiver with built-in hard disk, which will be used to store new movies. (Broadband TV News)

5min Persuades Scripps with Video Network; Howcast Gets $1M

5min announced today a deal to syndicate home and food videos from Scripps Networks (s SNI), give Scripps the ability to sell advertising on its videos and others in the 5min VideoSeed network, and provide relevant videos for Scripps sites. (Scripps properties include HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Shopzilla, BizRate and uSwitch; it wasn’t stated which ones will be involved with 5min.)

5min CEO Ran Harnevo

5min CEO Ran Harnevo

5min has a pretty neat model and one I didn’t understand until a recent conversation with CEO Ran Harnevo. He explained that, in contrast to the how-to video destination site it started out as, 5min has become a video ad network, but one that distributes contextually relevant video content and then layers advertising on top of them.

So a site like,, something more specific like, or now Scripps properties, can keep going about their normal business producing text content. 5min inserts an in-line video player that pops up when it determines one of its 120,000 pre-screened videos is relevant to the particular topic. Ad revenue from views of the video is shared between 5min, the publisher, and the creator of the video.

Harnevo said 5min has sold 100 percent of its inventory for the past 12 months and gets an average 2 percent click-through-rate for direct sales. Sites in the network are making “five digits a month” and content creators $5,000 to $10,000 per month. 5min has 320 publishers and 250 million monthly uniques.

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