Wednesday, December 30, 2015

YouTube Enters into Crowdfunding

written by 
Crowdfunding Expert
Updated December 08, 2015.
Appeared in on December 08, 2015
Quietly, Google has been making its way into crowdfunding in a big way (What is crowdfunding?).
It hasn't done so by launching large, splashy rewards-based crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or peer to peer lending networks like Lending Club. 
Instead, Google is placing its bets on existing platforms with money from its investment arm, Google Ventures. And rightly so, Google is positioned atop a list of the top investors in crowdfunding and it's done so with investments in equity crowdfunding platforms Angel List and CircleUp and peer to peer lender, Lending Club.
Lending Club's CEO, Renaud Laplanche said about Google's investment in his firm:
We believe our relationship with Google will be very helpful in better serving our customers. We couldn’t be more excited to have them on board.
When you look at Google's investment activity in the crowdfunding space, it's clear that the firm believes in the potential of crowdfunding. But some news that the search/technology firm dropped today may point to a more hands on approach it will be taking to crowd funding in the future.

Google Announces That YouTube Will Launch Crowdfunding
With a video and blog post, Google announced some new changes it would be making to the creation tools for publishers of videos on its video network, YouTube.
One of those changes would be that YouTube would be joining the crowdfunding excitement.
Here's why: Google monetizes the billions of videos watched on YouTube by showing advertisements to viewers. In turn, YouTube shares those revenues with the producers of such videos. But here's the thing: a lot of those videos are made to promote products and services sold off of YouTube.
Once someone clicks off a video, YouTube loses the opportunity to make more money off a user.
So, this new announcement that Google would begin providing a mechanism for viewers to directly pay the makers of videos on YouTube changes the rules of the game.
YouTube Product Manager Rehan Ratnatungha explained:
“The problem is, a lot of this funding happens off YouTube. So I’ve been thinking about we can do this directly on YouTube, allowing fans to fund the creators that they really love.”

How will YouTube inject crowdfunding into videos?

Sources say that many content creators on YouTube have voiced their frustration that advertising revenues have been dropping over time. That's actually lead to a few of the larger publishers to leave YouTube in search of better revenue-producing platforms.
YouTube -- and parent, Google -- recognize the potential size of the crowdfunding market (expected to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars in the future), so it's working hard to collaborate with the Kickstarters and Indiegogos of crowdfunding. 
Unfortunately, Google's announcement didn't give more details on what crowdfunding would look like or how crowdfunding would work on YouTube, but that hasn't stopped analysts, journalists, and bloggers from speculating.
YouTube has been cooperating with crowdfunding sites for some time; Kickstarter and Indiegogo were some of the first external websites that video producers could link to via video annotations. The video service didn’t offer any additional details on what its own crowdfunding features will look like, but given that history, it’s possible that YouTube will try to complement Kickstarter rather than directly compete with it.
If people can put a few bucks in the virtual tip jar without visiting another website, that could be more convenient.
The iconic Veronica Mars stands as an industry touchpoint  for the power of crowdfunding to finance films that may have not found studio backing.  While there is no indication YouTube is getting into the film production industry for tentpole movies – a successful funding structure would certainly aid in setting a strategic tack to head in that direction.
Whether it's financing new forms of movies or just providing a mechanism to donate money to video creators, it's clear that Google is intent on investment more money -- and resources -- into ensuring that it's a dominant force in the crowdfunding industry.

Insane but perfectly feasible crowd sourcing and crowd funding predictions for 2016.

written by James de Rin in London

Apple will buy Netflix …and here’s why? Apple has been stalled out the gate with their content play, Apple TV package, they abandoned it last month because they could not get the rights to the content they wanted they have left it too late!  Tim Cook’ strategy will be to go shopping with the $200 billion he has in cash. Apple will buy Netflix for $50 billion. The algorithm Netflix has created and the deal it has in play and the market mover advantage will kick start Apple TV to form Apple Content.  The 60,000,000 Netflix  subscribers watch content and tell Netflix by what they click on and for how long and what they watch and when will actually crowd source the data Netflix needs to keep going. To put a crowd sourcing and crowd funding spin on it Apple could fund new content from the 60,000,000 subscribers at $10.00 a month on top of the Netflix existing membership payment, as a standalone investment vehicle to create a Netflix crowd funded studio actually modeled on Disney’s Silver Screen Partners Fund from the 1980s to fund new content that the public have shares in. Imagine not only be a member of Netflix but actually an investor in their content pipeline and get a credit and a return on your investment if they knock it out of the park. Imagine $600,000,000 crowd funded each month for Netflix to create new content for Apple TV. Netflix Studio, Netflix independent, Netflix documentary, Netflix theatre and on and on…In 2016 Netflix will spend $3 billion on new content, imagine Apple owning Netflix letting it run as a standalone but with a crowd funding fund that replenishes every month and is not on the balance sheet of Netflix as debt.  Talk about Crowd Source Capital!


 Disney will buy Netflix… and here’s why? Because of Bob Iger’ existing relationship with Netflix and his penchant for acquiring content rights so far Pixar, Marvel and now George Lucas it makes total sense to acquire the pipeline for content distribution that leads the world. With ESPN falling off a cliff with traditional cable unbundling like expanding foam why not transition ESPN and content to Netflix make it the pipe of content distribution as traditional dies off. Just imagine all the Star Wars content available one movie at a time on Netflix how many would join just to sign up for each film and remain hooked…As Disney is in the content business why not have the public crowd fund a second tier of content for you and give them risk with reward how exciting would that be…

The Salvation Army charity buys Kickstarter or Indiegogo! Now that Kickstarter and Indigogo are proven business models for rewards crowd funding how about the Salvation Army buying or with what you say? On January 20th 2004 the Salvation Army received $1.5 billion from Joan Kroc’ wife of McDonald’s founder… she died on October 12th 2003. The $1.5 billion went to building community centers all 35 of them. So the money has been spent, but not leveraged as of yet. However with this model they would have a perpetual income every year. Add and they would be a power house in the crowd funding  and charity space. 

Google Ventures decides to invest further in the crowd sourcing and crowd funding space in crowd and on line funding platforms. They have already invested $17,000,000 on top of $42,000,000 in On Deck Capital  which raised $200,000,000 in an IPO in 2014 and before that Google invested $125,000,000 in which floated the same year. So Google Ventures makes a play for and I am expecting a call from Google Ventures to my office here at Just kidding...Google Ventures targets on line platforms specializing in the provision of debt. (see You Tube Enters into Crowd funding by Zack Miller. YouTube will announce in 2016 a new platform partnership between YouTube and crowd funding. It already owns stakes in Angel List and Circle Up.

That’s all my predictions folks…see you in 2016

Saturday, November 14, 2015

What to do with Twitter?

Written by James de Rin in London

First off it would be callous not to mention last night's madness across the channel. With the attrocities in Paris still fresh on my mind Twitter has shown that the collective village has a soul and people do care. We all support France and especially Paris the most romatic city in the world that just got turded by some brainwashed young french born men. Barely in their twenties they carried out their orders from within France but guided by the head of a serpent who only knows chaos, death and destruction. Whatever your politics surely this is the tipping point of passive aggressive! But then democracy has many jealous ideological enemies. The french are a tough bunch the foreign legion comes to mind and even though Mr Pudding runs the place he is extremely decisive if not economically educated. So closing the borders, locking down Paris with the military was smart. 

Back to the blog...
OK so the stock market took a dump on Friday, high street retail is dead just go look at the malls! Duh! long live the internet, and twitter is back below its IPO price at $25.17 While tech has been and still is the actual engine of the USA economy. Silicon Valley is like a Dyson (vacuum cleaner) for brains and funding. I can't help but think that the smartest people in tech are missing a trick, well missing an out of the box helicopter view. Namely crowd sourcing or crowd funding. Social media is the glue of the internet and its management either monetise it well or badly. 

Over at Facebook when the stock was $16.00 a share, today its at $107. I remember everyone  saying its over, everyone is transitioning to their baby blanket (cell phone, mobile phone) goodbye Facebook. No more desk top Facebook...So what does Zuckerberg do he moves with the crowd and makes Facebook mobile friendly and then adds companies who have built in ecosystems that keep you in the Facebook walled garden. I digress "What to do with Twitter" now that Ballmer has bought a billion dollars worth and that guy in Saudi Arabia Alwaleed  In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud revealed that he now owns 5.17 percent of Twitter’s stock, or 34,948,975 shares.

Twitter is saved. Not exactly...its stock went up and now its back down. 

Dorsey needs a new vision like Facebook sauce or "Twitter Crowd Funding." Let's imagine everyone on twitter individuals and corporates want to raise money for their idea or project or start up. A few words, a hollywood log line or an elevator pitch and you are off and running. Not allowed to do that you say...well you are now SEC just approved final rules of the Jobs is what it says...exactly 

On October 30, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted final rules under Title III of the JOBS Act to enable U.S. companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding (Regulation Crowdfunding). This alert provides an overview of the SEC crowdfunding rules slated to become effective in early May 2016, with certain related forms, such as Form Funding Portal (which will be used to register as a funding portal), becoming effective at the end of January 2016.

So Mr Dorsey after firing a percentge of all your staff (well that made the firm less bloated so good move for the stock but not a vision for the future) and instead of following Twitter's mission statement whatever that is and always following behind Facebook go where no social media company has gone before. Go Crowd funding before Facebook does. If you really have balls go see Mr Timberlake and give Myspace a purpose as well "Music Crowd Funding" or Twitter will end up in the trash with netscape, myspace etc...

Aggregate your users into a funding aggregation tool using the tweet as the pitch. Buy Kickstarter and Indigogo and hook up with apple pay.

Just imagine twitter "we fund any idea, company, start up, anywhere on the planet, anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

Elevator Pitch

Funding Target

and reboot Yahoo as a marketing tool for Twitter Crowd Funding...Mr Dorsey leverage the tools you have, the twitter ecosphere, (307 million active users x $10.00 investment is a lot of dollars its $3.07 billion per month from the crowd funding movement, the Jobs Act and the rewards proven system of Kickstarter and Indiegogo! Create the twitter Silicon Valley Ecosphere

Do what Hollywood does er I mean Netflix and Amazon Prime and Hulu do, make a pilot and then ask the crowd if they like it by watching it. Put in a button with three clicks to funding. 

1. Pitch
2. Synopsis/Team/ Video
3. Funding Target - Thermometer Achieved or not (funding portal)

Wannabe be! 

*Twitter will become a marketing tool for sports with Ballmer's help, but it needs to become a future crowd funding bank as well!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Will Disney buy Netflix and why?

Written by James de Rin 

In my last article on Netflix I hypothesised that Apple might buy Netflix for its ecosystem and I ended my article by saying that Amazon might merge Netflix with Amazon prime and use the superior platform and ease of use. What was I thinking. In the last few days Disney's stock has tanked to $108 a share from $122 a share (now it's coming back at $111 a share )because of the new trend (sorry speeding up trend) of unbundling here in the U.S. More and more consumers just consume content through their iphone or android or iPad or laptop. It is no longer bizarre to see people watching content on a train in a Los Angeles Starbucks or at home on their device or on the London tube. The television is becoming extinct. Being forced to watch 175 channels of which you only watch 4 and with nothing worth watching on the television the broadcasters have missed the trend by living in the past like a dinosaur. Now. My point is ESPN was the juggernaut that kept Disney cash pouring in, just like HBO for Warner Bros but what we are witnessing is concentric rings of interest. where a human watches what they want to watch when they want to watch it. The disrupters get this and offer the consumer content on the consumers terms. Well Disney has recently struck more and more deals with Netflix to distribute content and Netflix gets older content from Disney which is not competing with dinosaur content distributors. But just imagine if Disney I mean Bob Iger the genius behind the acquisitions of Star Wars, Marvel etc took one last gamble and created an apple type ecosystem for his content. If Disney bought Netflix and it wouldn't be cheap $52 billion this week he could grow his pipeline of content into future platforms using Netflix. I had a theory that the telcos who own the delivery system would end up owning content as people want content not necessarily the branded pipelines. But Disney creates content and content is king but only if you own the distribution of it the platform. More and more platforms will appear all doing the same things with content but Netflix has left the gate first and has momentum. It may not have the latest content but that is only a matter of time and with Disney's help it would compound. So what in god's name does this have to do with crowd funding or crowd sourcing. Well Disney has its brands which turn out tent pole movies which cost $100 million and upwards what it doesn't have is a kickstarter for content. WIth a Netflix purchase it has analytics which tell you what you like, where you live, how much you watch it, who your favourite actor is, your blood type just kidding in other words it is research and development to crowd fund content with a platform and a new business. Kickstarter has done a great job of funding new film makers and existing celebrity filmmakers what Disney and Netflix can do is make stuff that concentric rings of interest want to watch other than the big tent pole movies. If the studios and Hollywood agents could back every horse they would own it all but what we are now seeing is that You Tube is becoming the place where you post your ideas, your video, your story and see if there is an audience once you have an audience Hollywood offers you a deal you can't refuse but what Netflix does is monetise it in 100 countries with an audience of 65 million people who then binge on it like it's an all you can eat content buffet. 

This is just my opinion and every one has one...but let's see if Disney does buy Netflix because if they don't
Netflix might just buy Disney one day! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Crowdfunding expands to global and emerging markets

The potential investment gains to be made in 

emerging economies can be huge. A new crowd funding 

company Emerging Crowd is focusing on such frontier 

markets to offer UK investors a chance to do so.

Piggy bank held up around awaiting depositors
Aim high: harness the power of crowdfunding to invest in the property market Photo: (c) Don Bayley

The nature of money and capital is changing 
as quickly as everything else. Cryptocurrencies, 
business funding, banking and coinage are blurring 
into one big accelerated charge across the Rubicon. 
Financial phenomena such as M-Pesa’s mobile 
banking platform in Kenya where 42 per cent of 
GNP is conducted, Bitcoin’s digital peer-to-peer 
currency and even ‘old’ platforms such as PayPal 
mean money is now something else. The currencies 
we now deal in can range from ‘favour economies’ to 
microlending and even using a (Apple) watch to 
Not only is it confusing, it is also opening new 
opportunities for businesses to trade in. One such 
well-known platform is crowdfunding where companies 
raise money from many small investors, instead of 
relying on the, frankly, unreliable largesse and 
blockbuster model of venture capitalists and banks. 
There have been notable crowdfunding successes 
such as the oft-mentioned Pebble Watch, but umpteen 
fails such as those investing in games development. 
However, crowdfunding seems to have hit critical 
mass and looks as if it’s here to stay. 
Above: the Pebble Watch was a crowdfunding success
Like anything new, crowdsourcing is beginning to 
fracture into different shapes from its initial rewards-
based model. Equity crowdfunding where companies 
offer equity stakes in exchange for investment, instead 
of prizes, have been highly successful in the UK, 
spearheaded by companies such as Seedrs and 
Two months ago, there was further fragmentation 
when Eureeca (terrible name, interesting business), 
self-described as the ‘first global equity crowd funding 
platform’ received regulatory approval from the UK’s 
Financial Conduct Authority. This means UK-based 
SMEs looking to enter the Dubai market can access 
to capital and expertise from local investors. 
Founded in Dubai by former investment bankers, 
Eureeca’s FCA approval offers new geographical 
opportunities for crowdfunding; a market the company 
expects to reach $90 billion by 2025. 
“UK- and Europe-based SMEs with ambitions of 
entering the Gulf can now access capital and expertise 
from investors in the region. In the same vein, businesses 
in the Middle East seeking to expand into the UK will be 
able to secure capital through investors there,” said 
Managing Director, Sam Quawasmi. 
Another interesting crowdfunding company in this space 
takes Eureeca’s example further. Launched last month, 
Emerging Crowd is a UK-based investment crowd funding 
platform that offers users equity (and debt) investments 
in unlisted emerging and frontier market companies. 
The platform enables growth-stage businesses to raise 
up to a maximum of £4 million in a 12-month period. 
One of the earliest companies to crowdfund on its platform 
is Cape Town-based company Bozza, a digital distribution 
platform where artists can connect with fans who want 
locally relevant content via their mobile device and desktop. 
Above: Bozza used Eureeca to crowdfund on its platform
“We chose Emerging Crowd because they are the 
first platform that focuses on companies that operate 
out of emerging frontier markets. They are an exciting 
platform that links ambitious, well-run companies 
seeking finance with international investors pursuing 
the potential higher returns from frontier and 
emerging markets,” said Emma Kaye, CEO Bozza Media. 
Crowdfunding, however, in whatever form it comes 
now or is likely to transmute in, is not a panacea to 
growing and funding a company. As previously 
mentioned, for every Pebble Watch funded, there 
will be many who fail to raise their targeted money 
and will be forever associated with such a fail. 
Those who do fail and go back to raising traditional 
forms of funding are unlikely to be welcomed back 
with big bags of money from VCs and banks if their 
crowdfunding campaign was unsuccessful. In essence, 
their businesses will be lucky to survive. 
But like with new forms of money, new forms of 
business funding will mean there will be winners and 
losers, both for the investors and the ones chancing 
their arm. What else would you expect if the 
crowdfunding market does reach $90 billion over 
the next decade?