Amuso is a new website, which allows people to create their own online gameshows and invite others to participate.
We talked to the firm’s COO Barak Rabinowitz about the site’s plans, as well as interest from brands in sponsoring customised contests.
How does Amuso work?
The idea behind the site is to bring reality game shows to the web. Anyone who visits can create a game show or enter a contest with photos or videos to win cash or credits. The cash entry fees are then used for a prize for the winner and a reward for the person who created the contest.
What kind of response have you had so far?
It’s still a work in progress; we ran a beta test with 10,000 users and we are trying to create a community that will use the site, and promote the contests to others.
We have had a good response to some of the contests too. For instance, the Eurovision 2nd Chance competition has had 200 entrants and nearly 10,000 page views.
Any interest from brands?
We have had interest from brand partners for the site. We already have contests sponsored by other websites, such as TheBabyWebsite.com, which sponsors a Next Top Baby contest.
Brands and companies can sponsor a prize, and we will provide viral tools to help them spread the word and get people involved. Big brands, including IKEA, are also interested in getting involved.
How is the site funded?
We are funded by the investors behind Joost and Skype, which allowed us to open an office in Barcelona with a development team of ten people. After a next round of funding we hope to expand into London and set up a business development team.
Why did you choose to locate in Barcelona?
We wanted a place where we could be inspired, and creativity is definitely in the air there. In addition, the costs of setting up and staffing an office there are cheaper than they would have been in London.
While it is difficult to match London for marketing and business development, Barcelona has a great community of entrepreneurs so there is the opportunity to share ideas and best practices.
What was your background before starting Amuso?
I have worked in Sony’s Broadband Entertainment unit, as well with looking at gaming opportunities for Yahoo! After September 11th I launched the 9/11 United Services Group, to help co-ordinate the relief efforts.
Jordi, the CEO of Amuso, also has an internet background, having worked for Yahoo!, as well as setting up newHabitat.com, a real estate portal in Spain.
How will you monetise the site?
We plan to do this in two ways. Firstly, by charging commission on the contests we run. Users pay a pound, a euro or a dollar to enter contests and the money is split between the winner and the creator of the contest. We take a 15% commission on each competition, and will also be providing fully customised contests for brands.
How have you been marketing the site?
As well as search engine optimisation, we have been placing targeted ads on social networks, using ad networks such as Lookery on Facebook, which provides an efficient CPM.
What about participation? What percentage of users is creating and joining in contests?
So far, roughly 10% of visitors to the site will participate in the contests, and a fraction of these will come to the site and create a new competition.