The Bideo Moment

September 29th, 2010 by Reagan

We recently chatted with a friend that admitted he’d love to help by selling newsworthy shots on Bideo, but he “just didn’t have any pictures.”  That we found ourselves preaching the Bideo mantra to one of our own led us to the realization that perhaps we should clarify a bit.

It’s not what you already have, it’s what you could have.  News is constantly happening, and one day you will find yourself witness to what we here at Bideo like to refer to as “The Bideo Moment.”  Whether you see a house fire, a plane touching down with a miracle landing on the Mississippi, or you find yourself on the front lines of flight attendant vs. flight; we are arming you with the mindset that remaining neutral is not an option.  No longer should you passively sit there and stare, later thinking to yourself, “Gosh, why didn’t I get a picture of that?” Everyone has had that feeling before, so we want to abolish the shoulda-coulda-woulda, and replace it with the see-shoot-makealotoffrigginmoney.

Bideo gives you the platform to profit from simply being in the right place at the right time… and it’s not a matter of what-if, it’s just a matter of when. So be ready and don’t let the Bideo Moment pass you by.

iReport, uReport… We All Report For Free!

September 17th, 2010 by Reagan

Today, it seems that every major news outlet has a citizen journalist website.  CNN has iReport, FoxNews has uReport, ABC has iCaught, MSN has FirstPerson; the list goes on and on; Big Media allowing the everyday citizen to participate.  Seems like a friendly enough notion, right? Wrong.  These websites solicit user generated content and operate under the guise that they are providing the layman with an opportunity to “get involved.”  However, in reality it is an opportunity for these news outlets to take advantage of the everyday citizen journalist.  When you upload your newsworthy material, you are forfeiting your right to compensation.  Sure, you might be an iReport SuperStar of the day.  Congratulations, but you can’t buy a Benz with vanity currency.  It is no longer your exclusive, it is theirs.  Who’s going to profit off of this?  Not you, my friend.  But, hey, you can post it to your Facebook.  Your friends are going to be so jealous.  Citizens are being used by Big Media; they are being taken for a ride. Not only are they creating what is essentially a staff of pro-bono reporters, but they are creating a database of free material for stories, broadcasts, etc.;  while also making money from ad revenue generated by the websites.

iReport? iCaught?  More like iRipoff, or iRacket.  iHustle, iSwindle, iBamboozle; and for all my dramaqueens out there, iRape (Okay… maybe that’s a bit strong).  Anyway, the moral of the story is this:  If you get your hands on a sweet media morsel and find yourself the possessor of an exclusive video or photo, don’t give it away for free.  Auction it on Bideo and get paid.  iRest my case.

The Changing Face of the Media

September 1st, 2010 by Reagan

Media’s had some work done. We aren’t talking a little botox here and there, but a full on face lift.  Media today is looking a lot less like Barbara Walters and more like Megan Fox.  She’s younger, she’s faster, and she’s a lot more flexible.  Via blogs, Twitter, and even Facebook’s news feed, the everyday person’s involvement in the creation of news is growing.  With today’s technology, nearly every citizen has the opportunity not just to contribute, but to profit as well.  More and more often news outlets are using both photographs and videos taken by your average, everyday citizen.  Eyewitness reports are passe, eyewitness documentation has taken over.  The media is elite no more.  You don’t need a photojournalism degree to have an advantage, just the wherewithal to recognize your potential.

Just yesterday, a passenger on a Qantas jet captured footage of the plane’s engine catching fire on his cell phone camera.  That footage has been shown on numerous news broadcasts around the world.  News reporters and camera crews are not omnipresent, but you are.  Every second of every minute around the world, news is constantly being made.  At any moment, you could be there to capture it. When you do, Bideo will provide you with the tools necessary to maximize your profits and receive true market value.

Don’t just stand there, DO SOMETHING…

August 19th, 2010 by Reagan

We are the cell phone generation.  Don’t believe me, look at the people around you.  In restaurants, grocery stores, shopping malls, on the street, on the subway, in the car sitting next to you at the red light; cell phones aren’t merely sitting in a purse or in a pocket waiting to accept an incoming call.  With their internet browsing capabilities, cell phones have taken our ADD to the next level.  Don’t have anything to do? Take out your cell phone, google.  Doing something?  Might as well grab your phone anyway and check your email, multi-tasking is so in right now.  Beyond the inbox and easy entertainment (Angry Birds, anyone?), what does this mean?  A lot actually.  The accessibility of documentation today is astounding.  Nearly all cell phones have camera or video capability.  In a matter of moments (and a flip of a phone), an individual can make the transition from eyewitness to news correspondent.  Mankind is now an army of citizen journalists, poised to invade the news journalism world; problem is only few recognize their potential.  Everyone should take a cue from Janis Krums, who posted one of the first photos of the Hudson River Landing on the internet via his Twitter.  Another fine example of citizen journalism is the Battle at Kruger.  Though it was captured not on a camera phone, but on a digital camera, it is still easily one of the most incredible documentations of the animal kingdom in history; a once in a lifetime encounter.  Was it captured by a professional videographer?  A National Geographic reporter?  No, just a tourist on a safari.  That amateur video has become one of the most popular videos on YouTube with nearly 55 million views, and has made that tourist a very wealthy man.  Pop Quiz: A well-known actor and comedian is heckled during his stand-up routine and he has a category 5 meltdown. You immediately:

A.  Play possum & stay under the radar to avoid the wrath of comedian scorned.

B. Elbow your boyfriend/girlfriend/mother/brother/best friend forever and mouth, “What the…”

C. Grab your camera phone and start rolling.

If you didn’t answer C, you are in the wrong place.

One audience member knew our cardinal rule (Thou shalt film any and all public meltdowns), and caught Kramer lose his kool.  On the camera phone video, comedian Michael Richards of Seinfeld fame launches into a racial slur filled tirade, which was broadcast everywhere from gossip blogs to CNN.

The moral of the story (as well as Bideo’s call to arms):  If you find yourself witnessing crashes, splashes, brawls, or exotic animals within city limits; grab your BlackBerry, Droid, iPhone, etc. etc. etc., and start recording.  Then post it to Bideo, sell it to a major publication, and buy a yacht.

Where is the Footage of Steven Slater aka the Jet Blue Warrior?

August 12th, 2010 by Reagan

Steven Slater has taken the internet by storm, but the footage that made him famous is MIA.  It isn’t everyday that a flight attendant is rapped over the head with a passenger’s carry-on in the midst of a heated and expletive-filled mid-aisle assault. It is hard to believe that not a single passenger felt the compulsion to whip out their camera phone and document the exchange, particularly since said assault was followed by Slater relinquishing his duties to Jet Blue in a profanity filled tirade over the loud speaker.*  Had his speech been captured, too would be his infamous departure down the emergency slide onto the tarmac, two beers in hand.

We here at Bideo are putting out an APB for any and all footage of Steven Slater and/or the mystery passenger who incited the greatest resignation of all time.  You have nothing to lose, and plenty to gain.  The world awaits.

And for everyone else, let this be a lesson learned.  You never know when you will find yourself front row for the next big story, so keep your cameras ready.

*Let this be a rule of thumb:  Any and all public meltdowns should be captured on film.

Bideo: The Backstory.

April 12th, 2010 by Pike

Welcome to Bideo, and the first entry in the Bideo blog! If you’ve made it this far you probably have an idea of what we’re about. To recap, Bideo is an online auction house for newsworthy photos and video. Simply put, if you catch something amazing on camera, you can use Bideo to auction the exclusive rights to news publications and get paid top dollar by the highest bidder.

It’s a ambitious new project with a determined mission to change the way breaking news images are created and distributed. We couldn’t be more excited to introduce Bideo to the world, and I hope you find our effort as intriguing as we do.

This blog will be used to tell the Bideo story as it unfolds and to update readers on the latest in the world of news, camera technology and user-generated content. Since it’s the first post, I’ll kick off with a brief background on how Bideo came to be..

It all began during Katrina, when the global lens held a tight focus on the chaos unraveling in and around New Orleans. I found myself in the thick of it all, and unexpectedly armed with a camcorder and a 1.nothing “mega” pixel Razor camera phone. I felt compelled, obligated even, to seize the opportunity and document the event as it unfolded.

Long story short, I nailed some amazing shots. Trees smashing into cars and houses, transformers exploding, sporadic tornadoes ripping apart the landscape – it was remarkable and, more importantly, newsworthy stuff. When the dust settled and water drained, I felt the need to share it with the world. But how? Throw it on YouTube? Bad idea, not enough protection. Give it away to the news so they can make money off of it? I don’t think so. Then I thought, I know – I’ll sell it to the news! But, which station, and for how much? Would they even buy it?

As I was fumbling around trying to answer these questions, it hit me: why not auction it to the news? Good idea, but there wasn’t a place online where I could effectively do that. So, I decided there should be a place where I can protect my shot, show it to publications, and let the market determine the best price via auction. A website platform where the news can bid on the right to publish my video and/or photos. Hence, Bideo.

And the idea was born, yet remained only an idea for some time. This changed when I began to understand and really appreciate an emerging, unprecedented phenomenon called the camera phone. Suddenly I realized that, for the first time in history, there was a device that people carry with them at all times that just so happens to have a camera on it. Camera omnipresence – the collective ability for everyone to capture everything, everywhere, at anytime. It seems simple and obvious, but if you really think about it you’ll start to understand the staggering potential value associated with this new capability, and how often it’s overlooked and taken for granted.

To me, the implications were mind blowing: not only do people have the ability to be in the right place at the right time, they’re actually equipped to capture it. Seemingly overnight the subtle, growing ubiquity of the camera phone had displaced the age of the eyewitness, qualifying and upgrading almost every citizen from potential witness to potential photojournalist. Finally a future need for the Bideo idea was clearly validated, so I took action to realize the vision, and here we are!

You see, Katrina happen everyday across the globe, in many different shapes and sizes. News crews can’t be everywhere at once – but people can. We’ve all seen the examples, from the World Trade Center footage to the tsunami, from the VA Tech shooting to the plane landing in the Hudson, from Tiger’s wrecked Cadillac to John Edwards’ mistress, from Sadaam’s execution to the underwear bomber’s arrest, from Michael Phelps’ bong hit to the Minnesota bridge collapse, and the list of exclusives captured by regular citizens goes on and on.

As the quality of camera technology improves that list will grow exponentially, and the citizen journalist will become an inevitable force in mainstream reporting. Perhaps an obvious revelation, but critical and exceptionally powerful. I knew it would change the world by revolutionizing the way breaking news images are created, and so far that theory has held true.

The question now is, can amateur news images be monetized? We sure think so. And by enabling creators to leverage the auction sale format, we feel Bideo delivers the best incentives needed to create a sustainable, secure and reliable marketplace that will revolutionize how user-created news footage is distributed and published throughout the media spectrum.

This is only the beginning so stay tuned, much more to come. And keep your camera on!

Pike

Putting a Price on User Generated Content

December 28th, 2009 by Pike

Website Acts As Online Auction House for Newsworthy Video & Photos,
Connects Sellers of Valuable Media Directly to Buyers Who Demand It

Bideo.com is the first and only online exchange where creators of breaking news video and still images can manually protect and sell their content directly to publications in an auction setting. The Bideo message to creators is simple: stop giving away amazing videos and photos, and start selling them.

A tornado tearing across a field, a plane landing in a river, an amateur dunking on an NBA star, or a house fire in your neighborhood, some pictures and videos are rare and very valuable news exclusives that are often the direct result of a camera phone being in the right place at the right time.

The increasing amount of valuable content being produced by citizen journalists is garnering interest from major publications, which are now welcoming an opportunity to access, purchase and publish such images. Brittain Stone, Photo Director for US Weekly, sees Bideo as a great resource for publications to obtain newsworthy material. “The Bideo format can be the efficient and trustworthy intermediary between those user creators and the buyer. It will be a way for us to tap into formerly ambivalent and often unattainable sources with ease and immediacy.

HOW BIDEO WORKS

  • The seller uploads an image file, adds a description and sets the auction terms. The original file is stored on a secure server while a watermarked copy is created and listed in a live auction.
  • Bideo’s notification system automatically alerts relevant publications based on the item’s information. Sellers can also manually send notifications to their own list of potential buyers.
  • Buyers assess the image and bid on a 7-day exclusive right to publish it. A buy now option is also available.
  • The original file is transferred to the winning bidder’s account when the auction ends and payment is made.
  • The seller receives 75% (and up to 85%) of the final bid price within 12 to 24 hours of the sale. Seller agrees to honor the exclusive, and all rights revert to the seller after the license period expires.

Founder and CEO, Pike Barkerding, sees demand for a service like Bideo.com rapidly increasing. “Everyday more and more breaking images are published by citizen journalists who are not properly recognized or compensated for their work,” says Barkerding.  “Bideo seeks to empower this growing army of “right-place-right-time” creators by giving them a simple, secure and profitable way to promote their content to interested buyers.”

For buyers, Bideo serves as a central, organized source for newsworthy user-generated content that is otherwise difficult or impossible to obtain. “I think we miss a lot of interesting and topical images that aren’t represented by the established agencies and therefore don’t percolate up to us in a timely fashion if at all. On those occasions when these people do approach us, negotiations are skittish and drawn out because the potential sellers aren’t familiar with the ground rules of our particular marketplace,” says Stone.

Why an auction? “Newsworthy images can be difficult to price, especially non-professional, user-created images. Think eBay meets iReport. By posting content in an auction, sellers can let the open market decide the price and get the true market value for their work,” says Barkerding. “The same dynamic also creates a chance for buyers to find great deals on exclusive footage.”

Another benefit of the efficiency offered by Bideo is the ability for buyers and sellers to forego pricey middlemen (agencies), yielding lower cost to buyers, higher commissions to sellers, and greater immediacy throughout. “This also makes it attractive to professional photographers with a rare exclusive,” says Barkerding. “They can sell it autonomously on Bideo and get a higher return.”

Barkerding sees Bideo as a no-brainer alternative to the popular practice of giving content away for anything less than true market value. “Listing is free, and if you think it’s amazing, you never know who might want it. You set the price, you control the sale and, if it doesn’t sell, you can still give it away. So, why not try Bideo?”

In May, a private beta version of the site was launched in Los Angeles with a specific focus on celebrity content as a test market. During this soft rollout Bideo has been working with several L.A.-based photographers and celebrity publications including E!, Us Weekly, TMZ, Access Hollywood, and Star Magazine. Bideo.com will be launched publicly in November to attract and connect all forms of newsworthy content to publications in media markets throughout the world.