When web-minded comedian Louis C.K. launched his first online-only comedy special, it was another reminder of how the distribution mechanisms are changing for creative content.
That’s a movement that VHX, a Dumbo based startup that is creating a platform for artists to sell video content directly to fans, is hoping to tap into.
Union Square Ventures just closed a $3.2 million round of Series A round for the firm, which launched with Aziz Ansari’s first online only special, Dangerously Delicious. Since then, VHX has also distributed films by Dave Grohl, This American Life and one of the first Kickstarter funded filmes, Indie Game: The Movie.
Whether or not selling videos directly to fans will make every comic a household name, the founders of VHX still believe there is plenty of money to be made by giving artists more ways to sell video content.
By signing up for VHX’s newsletter, new followers can get a coupon code good for 20% off one of a number of the company’s titles. Right now, the platform is also seeking additional beta testers that want to sell online content, as it prepares to open its service to anyone who wants to sell video.
Overall the private alpha platform has launched 60 releases to 300K happy customers, with $2M+ in gross revenue. With its new funding, VHX will grow the Brooklyn-based team, open up its publishing platform, and launch apps for numerous devices.
Some of the features that VHX hopes will attract a strong base of artists to sell through their site include:
- The ability to sell directly from artists’ websites
- A full suite of analytics, including counts by payment system, gifts, preorders and Google Analytics integration
- Non-exclusivity and an as-yet-unrevealed more generous revenue sharing formula than the prevalent 70/30
- Kickstarter fulfillment
- DRM free video in multiple formats
- No upfront costs for filmmakers
VHX is now an eight person team and currently has five open positions listed on its website, including three developer positions and one each in marketing and business development.