Victorious, a startup building mobile apps where YouTube stars can interact with their “superfans,” says the strategy seems to be paying off.
Specifically, since the first apps launched in April, they’ve seen a total of 250 million views and 300 million engagements, with fans creating 1 million pieces of user-generated content.
Those might sound a bit like vanity metrics, especially since Victorious declined to provide a count of daily active users across its apps. However, co-founder and chief creative officer Bing Chen noted that subscriber count is a common way to show the reach of the multi-channel networks that help video publishers make money.
Chen also argued that the numbers counter the assumption that “digital content is a zero sum game.” Instead, the apps have a “symbiotic” relationship with big video platforms — video creators can collect UGC through their apps, repackage and publish it on “anchor platforms” like YouTube, then use that content to drive follow-up conversations within the app.
Backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Redpoint Ventures, Victorious is also announcing that former YouTube executive Shishir Mehrotra has joined its board of directors.
In an email statement, Mehrotra said:
Years ago, we deliberately moved from videos to channels at YouTube. Naturally, you always wonder: what’s next? Passionate communities were always the piece that got me most excited. Superfans engage in more interesting ways with content than casual fans, express themselves through their own premium content, and are the lifeblood of creators and creative communities. It’s been rewarding to see something I’ve cared about so deeply for years—passionate communities—emerge on Victorious as the start of a next generation passion platform.
Update: An earlier version of the headline incorrectly stated that Victorious was claiming 200 million views.