In one sentence, what is TubeRank?

TubeRank’s a web app designed to help people make viral videos through a mix of inspiration and insight. 

What problem(s) does TubeRank solve?

72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute, but 99.9% of that content is trash and largely unwatchable. TubeRank aims to solve the problem of bad video content, and in particular help brands make ‘shareable videos‘, as how much a video is shared is an indication of how good / well liked it is. 

What are your immediate goals?

As with any new service launch, we’re keen to get people using and benefiting from TubeRank.  On launch we’re primarily focused on getting agencies to start using the app and embedding it in their agency creative processes, as agencies have a lot of influence on brands’ strategic marketing decisions.

What were the biggest challenges involved in building TubeRank?

The biggest challenge has been setting the rules for how TubeRank’s algorithm works, and making sure the data from specific searches makes sense.  

This has been very much an iterative process, and one that we could unfortunately only do towards the end of the development process once all the moving parts (i.e. video sourcing, YouTube and social media sharing data collation) were in place.  

The fine tuning of the algorithm took the most time as various bugs kept throwing up unusual results.


How will the company make money?

TubeRank is one of a suite of apps called VAN designed to help across all parts of the viral video-making process, from creative (TubeRank) through to distribution (Viral Ad Network), along with learning and LOL (#KittenCamp).  

At present TubeRank doesn’t have a revenue model itself, however the idea is that people will use TubeRank to help make good video content, and then pay to use Viral Ad Network to distribute it.    We also have a premium account model planned, but this won’t role out for another 6 months.

Who is in your team?

There are 15 of us in the VAN team.  On the management side there are four key staff: I head up overall company strategy; Ally Stuart is our Product Manager, making sure the development process is well-managed.

Tim Wintle is our CTO; and Liz Pavitt our Sales Director. Specifically for TubeRank we also brought in a Bristol agency called Thought Den to design and code the app.

Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?

We’d like TubeRank to be the default solution that people use to make videos.  I imagine that the app itself may look and work very differently from now, as we iteratively develop based on user feedback.  

With the rise of wearable technology, in five years time it may be the case that people use TubeRank via something like Google Glasses to stimulate creativity and content creation in a more direct way.

Other than TubeRank, what are your favourite websites / apps / tools?

I’m actively training myself to be better at making the most of technology / apps in my everyday life, as I’m paranoid I’m not making the most out of all the wonderful tech available.  My most used apps / websites include:

    • Flipboard on my iPad is an amazing way to curate and browse the social web.
    • Fast Company is an amazing source of stories from creative / technical / business world.
    • Techcrunch is a great way to keep connected with the world of start-ups, especially on the West Coast.