Blog

January 22, 2013
Cambridge-Based GenArts Announces Vivoom, A New Consumer Video Tool

Tools like
Instagram have made it easy for smartphone users to polish and share photos.
However, many homemade videos remain unshared because there isn’t a comparable
tool for improving the image quality of videos. “The average person has 20
videos on their phone that they’ve captured but they’re not willing to share,”
estimates Katherine Hays, CEO of the Cambridge-based visual effects software
company GenArts, which is used by several
leading TV and movie production companies. “There hasn’t been a convenient way
to make improvements to videos.”

Hays hopes that will change as GenArts today announces the launch of Vivoom, a
tool designed to help social media users improve the image quality of their
videos and make them more inclined to share those videos.

Platforms
like YouTube and Vimeo have already tackled the issue of video sharing but few
address video quality because improving video is much more complex than simply filtering
static images. “We’re helping users take the video that they’ve already
captured and make it look great,” explains Hays. “It’s disruptive, it changes
behavior and makes creators substantially more willing to share that video.”

To
improve a video’s image quality, Vivoom starts with a portfolio of over a
thousand filters built specifically for video. “Those filters are powered by the
world’s top effects engine,” explains Hays. “That’s really important because it
means there’s no constraints to the user. They can actually see the look or the
filter in their video in real time.”

To help
users find the right filter for their video, Vivoom uses its technical analysis
of the video as well as data about the user and their social profile. “We know
past performance of looks with similar videos and similar users, so we can
suggest the best particular one for your context and your situation,” says
Hays.

Vivoom
will be announcing the first partner within the next month. “We’re partnering
with social media sites, blogs, video sharing sites,” says Hays. “For some of
those sites, they’re offering it to users for free because they know that it
will drive viewer engagement.” She adds that the business model will be a
revenue share where users pay per video to try as many looks as they like and
choose one.

The
company also has plans to launch a standalone app in the spring and introduce
new filters on a regular basis. “Some of that will be driven by what we learn,”
says Hays. “What type of looks users want vary by season, current events,
trends.”

Hays say
the total market opportunity is already significant, but it will increase as users
grow accustomed to editing video and start experimenting with filters and
effects the way many now use Instagram for photos. “The goal is that it’s a
fun, simple, and easy creative experience but one that measurably makes every
video look good every time so users are more willing to share and viewers will watch
longer,” she adds.

Susan Johnston is a journalist and contributor to VentureFizz.  You can follow Susan on Twitter (@UrbanMuseWriter) by clicking here.