Our CEO Steve Rosenbaum talks to NYConvergence about Magnify

Q and A: Steve Rosenbaum, Magnify.net
NYCovergence Original

“Having recently written about Magnify’s funding and its Holiday Party, we thought we’d get in touch with the video publishing platform’s CEO Steve Rosenbaum to talk more about his company. In the Q&A below reveals Magnify’s recent accomplishments, funding news and describes the factors involved
in Magnify’s success over other online video platforms.”
Q: What are your
goals for Magnify?
We’ve got a roadmap for Magnify.net that maps against two
sets of variables – the changing need of our customers,  and the emergence and organization of the
video ecosystem on the web.
This is pretty exciting stuff.
On the customer side,  we’ve got two groups of users who are really building on the Magnify platform now. We’ve got a growing number of media companies,  including magazines,  publishers,  entertainment
companies,  and ecommerce co’s. Good examples of them are Readers Digest’s TasteOfHome.com  and Ty’s Toy Box’s  Thwoop.com.  So for these companies,  we’re looking at keeping our feature set ahead of the market – in the
past 90 days we’ve added GeoTagging, Mobile Upload, iFrame embbedable
players (MVP’s)  and more. So for the big Enterprise customers it’s all
about being in sync with them as they embrace video discovery,  curation,  and community contributed video.

The one thing we know for sure about these partners is
that they’re super focused on building a quality filter on the content that the
share around their brand – so we want to make sure they have the tools to do
that.
Then, there’s the
large number of our users that are building on our Free and Pro platform offerings.  We think of these folks as digital entrepreneurs – folks who are using their
experience, knowledge and passion to
build content destinations around great curated content. For them, the idea
is to give them both the content and revenue tools to build channels that they have complete control
over.  So that may mean building on the free platform, using community tools to grow an audience base, and then when ad revenue starts to come
in, switch over to “Pro” and gain 100% control of the ad
inventory.  Here the vision is we want to support the emergence of new content
curators – and do it at their individual speed. We’re ready when they’re ready.
Here,  great
examples are Droideo.com  and http://natube.magnify.net-  both community
sites that are growing really well.Q: What
differentiates Magnify from other video Web sites?
To start with, there really are a number of different kinds of services that fit under
the headline of ‘Video Web sites’. There are hosting services like Brightcove, or Viddler or Vimeo services that offer upload, hosting, encoding,  and players. We see it at 8 vectors that carve up video in to applications,  services, streaming,  social networking,  and such. You can debate which company goes in which category, but the point is
that there’s unique set of solutions that can be bolted together. So, for example – if you have a large collection of video – and are going to
make a lot of video every week – then a host/player solution could be
great. If – however – you’re looking to
enhance and grow your video offering with video that comes from multiple
services and can increase ROI with very little initial cost or staff time -
then a solution like Magnify.net and video discovery, aggregation and curation may be a better
choice.Q: Why did you
choose to base Magnify in New York City? -
Well, New York
choose us.  Back when we launched  – our core team was here. But as
we’ve spent more time on airplanes – we’re finding that the base of content
creation and content partnerships are in the Northeast – so it’s a great base of
operations. That said,  we’re a global company with customers around
the world,  and we try and make sure that
our world view is in sync with our customers. So,  for example -  we think that sharing is a far more powerful
concept than content ownership or a single point of access for any one piece of
content. That’s kind of a West Coast
tech-centric view – but we embrace it.Q:  Has your
background in magic helped you with your presentations to potential investors?
 
Absolutely. I
think every start up needs a little magic. A bit of something that is dazzling – that makes customers feel the
excitement and enthusiasm we have for what we’ve built,  and what we’re building together.  Frankly, I think there is some technology out there that has amazing code -but is missing a customer-friendly
UI. And I think there are some services
that are really flashy – but once you lift the hood,  the tech just isn’t that robust. So the ‘magic’ part is great, frankly I think what our development team is
able to do with code reminds me a bit of the things that Harry Houdini was able
to do. Great software, like great illusions, leave  you with a sense of wonderment.     
Q: Speaking of
investment, how much did Magnify raise in its latest round of funding?
Here’s our funding release. In it, we announce that Innovation Ventures has joined us in our A1 round of financing. Q: Also, how have
you managed to secure funding from as many investors as you have?
There are a number of schools of thought on how to do a
raise in the video space. A number of
companies have raised big rounds,  and
are building ‘heavy iron’  around video
storage and delivery like Move Networks. For
us, with software as our core
product, and the ability to control costs – it made sense to take a long
view of the space and make sure we could raise money in a series of tranches.
We’re very proud of our investor group – they’re engaged
in our business and always looking for ways to help us find customers and build
the business.
Q: How has your mascot Magnus
helped raise awareness of Magnify?
Magnus is amazing. He literally has traveled around the world.  He’s been to South Africa, to London, to Guam, a he’s just back from a jaunt to Brooklyn. Our customers are great hosts – and he’s really helped us give the service a face. The thing that I think we learned was that our partners and customers really have taught us
so much.
When Magnus was ‘born’  back last spring, it was just an idea for T- shirts. But the whole ‘Magnus World Tour”  (http://www.worldtourblog.magnify.net)  was an idea
generated by our users. I think this has
been core to why Magnify.net has grown so quickly too  – we’ve let the market teach us, and we’ve
worked hard to be good students of the space.
 
For original article, http://www.nyconvergence.com/2008/12/qa-steve-rosenbaum-magnify.html
Read original article at magnify.net…