Content Galaxy Thinks its Video Streaming Platform Can Trump YouTube

6/18/13Follow @jpruth

In the free-for-all of the online video sector, it can be tough to stand out. But today New York’s Content Galaxy rolled out a platform it believes can give print media a new way to engage audiences who watch streaming videos.

Content Galaxy offers paid subscribers access to content such as video from authors, publishers, and media outlets. Steven Asherman, founder and president of the company, says the platform was developed within his consulting and software business, Base One International, though it may quickly become his primary focus.

Asherman says the platform could give newspapers and magazines new sources of revenue by letting them set up paid video-streaming channels that use content pooled from third-party sources. This could be a way for cash-strapped newspapers to break into the online video market without breaking the bank. “They’re not in the position to become video companies themselves,” he says. “They are very much in the position to understand and edit the material.” His company aims to make the process low-friction and transparent for all parties.

The business model for Content Galaxy, he says, differs from YouTube, which tends to pay only one party, such as the publishers who own or license content. Asherman tries to address how to divvy up revenue from the video streams among the multiple, independent parties involved. That can be tricky since the content may be gathered from multiple sources and watched through different channels.

“We’re measuring how long somebody watched, where they were watching from, and making that available in a secure way that deals with some of the privacy issues,” he says.

Content Galaxy’s platform even lets individuals independently sell channels and earn commissions when subscribers watch. “A guy with an iPhone who captures images of a plane landing in the Hudson River can monetize that content,” Asherman says.

Creators of instructional videos, he says, may also use the platform to extend their reach. “These are people who have DVDs and would like to stream their material,” he says. The platform currently features a sports and fitness channel with about 100 videos, representing some 10 DVDs. “Think of it as Netflix for long-tail videos,” he says.

In short, Asherman believes his business model can be a more lucrative option for publishers than YouTube’s streaming service. He acknowledges that some industry watchers tout free access to online video as the future, but he thinks his platform can eventually change their minds. “We’re still at a point where we need to prove this is a better way to make revenue from intellectual property than through advertising,” he says.

Content Galaxy has attracted some angel funding, Asherman says, and is looking for more. The company was founded in 2008 within Base One, which has been selling software-as-a-service via the Web since 1998, he says, to clients that include the U.S. Navy and banks.

Going forward, Asherman hopes to focus on Content Galaxy rather than his consulting business. “It’s not what I planned originally but that’s okay,” he says. “I started to realize pooling intellectual property was going to be an important way of selling in the future.”

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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