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!