In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
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"We believe having a trusted personality helps the level of experience customers have online, and better customer experiences turn into better conversion rates," says Surj Gish, Joyus director of marketing. He says consumers who view an entire video buy more than three times more often than those who do not.
Joyus, which produces up to 20 videos per week, records videos daily. 90% of all its video production work is done by in-house staff, most of whom came from the TV industry, Gish says. Videos, averaging around two minutes each, have slick production values akin to what consumers see on TV, and largely are recorded in Joyus' in-house studios, or on the streets of San Francisco.
Videos are hosted and streamed by video platform BrightCove Inc. Gish declined to reveal what it pays BrightCove, but the vendor says it structures fees according to the number of videos hosted and the bandwidth required to stream them. It charges $499 per month for 500 videos and 250 gigabytes of bandwidth to stream them, for example. Custom pricing is also available.
A magazine tie-in
The high production values of Joyus videos last year helped spur a 16-week co-branded promotion with Time Inc.'s People magazine web feature PeopleStyleWatch.com. In those videos, a People StyleWatch editor showed off fashionable products that consumers could click to buy on Joyus.com. Joyus and Time shared the resulting sales revenue.
Without disclosing details, Gish says the promotion, which at times included video placement on People.com's home page, drove a lot of traffic to Joyus.com. He says it was Joyus' video quality that helped make that promotion happen.
Studios take up about 40% of the e-retailer's office space, and the company maintains individual studios by product category. For example, there's a kitchen studio for food and kitchen product demos. Gish says Joyus.com wants each video to have the "Joyus touch" that helps convey its brand, and so it rarely uses manufacturer stock B-roll in its videos.
Gish admits it's rare for a young e-retailer to be able to invest heavily in this level of video production, and that it is probably out of reach for a lot of retailers. "But folks can produce pretty good video these days with a simple set-up too," he says.
After starting with such a set-up, PulseTV's Ali says she's planning to expand the office space dedicated to filming video to include space to record more instructional-type videos rather the single-camera, people-focused videos it typically produces. The videos will still maintain the personable elements consumers have come to expect, she says. "We're expanding videos because they work."