Yidio and TV, Proving the Power of Social Media Users

Yidio isn’t quite synonymous with television. But compared to YouTube or Hulu, it offers a unique potential all the same. As a video-sharing site, Yidio isn’t filled with user-generated content, but it relies heavily on its user base nonetheless. Yidio considers itself a social entertainment network, meaning the delivery of premium content is at the core of its product while the emphasis on Yidio’s users is key to its execution.

The company recently released version 3 of its social entertainment network, giving rise to even more social, sharing features integrated throughout the site. Interactive options on Yidio link users to each other based on similar interests in order to provide deeper recommendations for video programming. Enhancing the discovery engine is a primary goal for Yidio, as this is still a challenge for every other content provider out there.

With so many platform integration options and APIs to choose from, many sites are turning to the social sphere in order to push their services through our individual networks. Yidio is trying to stay ahead of the curve based on the way in which it leverages its users’ networks for the purpose of building its brand while also learning enough about its user base to provide improved search and discovery tools.

Taking real time interaction across Twitter, Facebook and the Yidio website and aggregating them into a single user experience, Yidio is seeking new ways in which to utilize the activity taking place across multiple social media outlets. This has been a desire for several third party developers and now defunct web services for some time, but the lacking cooperation from the major platform providers made it a relatively slow process.

In some ways, this gap between the concept and the institution of such socially integrated initiatives is a microcosm of most industries’ journey to market. For crowd-sourced efforts such as those we’re seeing from Yidio and countless other publishers, it’s been an interesting struggle that has had to be too reliant on user participation.

Removing the necessity for users to do extra work in order to provide valuable information for third parties has been a welcome relief for all parties involved. By tapping into and aggregating the social activity surrounding a given user’s interaction on Yidio’s website, Yidio is able to get the information it needs from entire networks instead of having to ask users to provide it time and time again.

Moving this into a revenue-generating system is the next major challenge for Yidio, as it determines the success of the recently launched version of its site. Interestingly enough, this still makes Yidio rather reliant on user activity, it’s just less redundant for the end users now that Yidio can aggregate a wealth of data from Twitter and Facebook.

As far as marketing goes, Yidio is relying on its users to additionally be responsive to the credits rewards system it currently has, providing incentives to users to further interact on the site. What was once considered gimicky is now considered a method of virtual goods, and I anticipate that Yidio will move further in this direction as well.

The ongoing monetization of Yidio’s service is particularly interesting as far as media distribution goes. Several companies are seeking ways in which to merge television and Internet experiences, turning a profit all the while. Taking advantage of the social structures we’ve spent the last decade building online is Yidio’s answer to these two major challenges, and right now social media seems to be the answer.

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