Veoh reboots, adds payments and cross-publishing

Online video startup Veoh is revving its product tonight, borrowing liberally from its competition. It’ll be hard to stand out from the crowd by becoming more like the crowd, but Veoh’s looking for a boost to take it out of the middle of the online video pack.

The Veoh service will now include a Brightcove-style customizable player, 50-50 advertising splits for video publishers a la Revver (and others), and P2P feed-catching like the Democracy player. The site will be down starting at 5 p.m. to push the new features.

Lest the comparison to its competitors be too subtle, Veoh is also adding the option to publish any video to YouTube, Google, and MySpace when it’s uploaded to Veoh. “Publishers are not ready to commit to any one service, so we’re giving them what they want,” said Veoh CEO Dmitry Shapiro in an interview today.

On the more original side, Veoh is also adding the capability for any publisher to charge whatever they like for their videos, with the company taking a 30 percent cut. It’s also upping its transcoding bitrate to a level Shapiro claims will result in higher video resolution than anything else in the industry.

Veoh offers both streaming video on its site as well as a downloadable player client. With this release, the client is being improved in some interesting ways. It’s now remote-controllable, when hooked up to a television monitor. It will also bring in any RSS feed or BitTorrent search (before, the company had adhered to its proprietary P2P to ensure all content was copyright-friendly).

Veoh hasn’t had the wild success of, well, YouTube — something Shapiro had previously blamed on his efforts to build something comprehensive rather than simple. Now, it seems, simple has been done… so he’s making the feature list even more comprehensive.

Veoh has 3 million monthly uniques, growing 30 percent month-over-month, according to internal measure. Shapiro estimated 30 to 40 percent of Veoh users have downloaded the client. The company has raised $14.75 million from Time Warner, the Tornante Company, Spark Capital, and Shelter Capital Parters. Shapiro employs 60 employees across three offices, and is planning to go out fundraising again early next year.


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