Steven Voltz and Fritz Grobe had no idea their homemade video of the fountain effect created by dropping sugary candy into fizzy pop would capture the attention of millions of online-video viewers, but the two members of the Oddfellow Theater group in Buckfield, Maine, did know they wanted Revver to originate their video.
Ads at the end
Revver.com's model is attractive to video makers because of its ad-revenue-sharing model, but that's not the only reason they chose it. "They don't make you give up any copyrights, the small ad is at the end of the piece so you don't have to watch a 30-second ad before you see the work, and we really liked the backgrounds of the people behind it," Mr. Voltz said.
The ad Revver attaches is a simple one-frame clickable spot tacked onto the tail of the video. Revver founder and CEO Steven Starr's unique idea is that the coding, or the proprietary technology that tracks data about each piece of content, resides on the file. So content creators who send their original work to Revver are sent back a "revverized" version that can be put anywhere on the net. The Diet Coke and Mentos ad, which debuted online about a month ago, actually resides on Messrs. Voltz and Grobe's site, Eepybird, although it can also be accessed at Revver.com and many other places online.
Every time someone watches a "revverized" video, the content creator gets a share of the ad revenue. It's a 50-50 split if the work is viewed on the creator's home site, but if it's accessed on another place -- a MySpace page, blog, e-mail or elsewhere -- the affiliate host receives 20% of the ad revenue first, with Revver and the content creator splitting the remaining 80%.
Original content only
Revver accepts original content only and reviews all submissions for copyrighted material. The company will allow content creators to choose particular advertising categories to be seen at the end of their videos and will also enable advertisers to locate specific content to advertise against.
"For instance, they could ask for the top 50 G-rated skateboarding videos released in the last 30 days that are hot in London, Montreal and New York, and we could do that," Mr. Starr said.
The 2-year-old Revver is set for official 1.0 release in August, although even in beta form, it has attracted attention, particularly the Diet Coke and Mentos spot, whose viral wildfire earned Messrs. Voltz and Grobe spots on the "Late Night With David Letterman" and "The Today Show."
Advertisers already signed up include Microsoft, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., American Apparel, and, of course, Mentos, which bought out the entire inventory of ad space on the popular video.
But what about Diet Coke? Mr. Voltz said that after hearing nothing at first, a corporate letter arrived last week. The company wrote that is was glad to see the duo's creative use of the product. And the marketer provided a few freebies -- one T-shirt and a Diet Coke cap.