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4G capabilities, Vine, Facebook’s video for Instagram; they've all put online video sharing firmly on the consumer agenda.
Launched in June 2013, Rockpack is an intuitive video curation platform for iOS. With partnerships ranging from Topshop to Jamie Oliver, thousands of channels, and an advisory board consisting of heavyweights such as Stephen Fry, Jamie Byng (Canongate Books) and Sean Knapp (Ooyala), Rockpack is a company to watch.
The globally-available Rockpack platform makes it easy for people to create personalized video channels to share content, as well as to subscribe to video content from friends, influencers and celebrities.
Compatible with Facebook and Twitter, Rockpack offers premium content from vloggers and a growing number of brand partners. The company believes users will share their favorite videos through their own networks, helping to drive the discovery of relevant content through peer-to-peer curation.
Rockpack aims to change the way people discover and share videos, just as Pinterest changed image discovery and sharing. Much like consumers curate photos on Instagram and Pinterest, Rockpack will allow people to browse videos, create personalized channels by category and subscribe to channels created by friends or influencers.
We spoke to Sofia Fenichell, CEO and Founder.
In one sentence, what is your product/service?
Social video discovery on the mobile. (see bottom of post for video).
What problem(s) does it solve?
Discovery and sharing. We scratched our heads and said, if we could build the perfect social discovery platform for video, what would it look like?
- Catalog and share your favorite video collections.
- Access a world of video collections by friends and experts.
- Frictionless video sharing.
- See what your friends are watching.
- Make it easy to find anything - content, people, their video collections.
- Maybe buy things...
What are your immediate goals?
We made curation as easy as possible for consumers and now 20% of our user base is making video packs. We now want to make sharing as easy and fun as possible. This will enable us to grow to 1 million users on iPhone and iPad as fast as possible.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech?
We are a design and user experience led company. We have an exciting six month pipeline that hopefully will ensure we are always ahead. When we first started, we worked with a couple of expert User Interface and User Experience consultants.
We learned the hard way that the heart and soul of the product is in house and therefore we had to do it ourselves. We scrapped what we had and built a product we all wanted to use.
How will the company make money?
In the medium term, we will add content partners that enable us to monetize via pre-roll advertising. But we designed the interface to accommodate more consumer friendly forms of monetization such as sponsored content and subscription services. Stay tuned.
Who is in your team?
A very talented group of thinkers and doers. We have people from Yahoo, My Deco, and other brand name companies.
But what differentiates our technical team is the fact that each of them have been problem solving and coding for at least a decade. There are quite a few complexities in building a system that is fast, reliable and can map sophisticated social data.
Our design and marketing team is differentiated in their ability to think critically and beautifully about every aspect of user experience. Everything we produce has to fill strict criteria on ease, joy and utility.
I've got some pretty cool thinkers on board.
Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?
One year: The best video site in the world for consumers.
Three years: The best video site in the world for content providers and advertisers.
Five years: The industry will tell us what it wants next.
Other than your own, what are your favorite websites / apps / tools?
Pinterest, Flipboard, Soundcloud and Linked In. I am basically a big consumer of anything that creates utility and joy in social discovery.