Moves to Wean Users Off Its Free Service

12 Comments has experienced tremendous growth over the past year, increasing its customer base by 270 percent in 2009. Now it’s looking to cash in on that growth, as it is taking steps to move the users of its free offering to a low-cost pro version of the service.

Magnify, which offers a platform for video distribution and curation, believes that now is the time for it to ramp up its business as a paid offering. To do so, it will upgrade all non-paying users to a “Pro” version of its service for 30 days for free. If they plan to continue with the Pro version, they can sign up for just $24.95 per month. But here’s the catch: if they choose not to upgrade at the end of those 30 days, Magnify will wind down the account.

In addition to nudging its free users to adopt a paid service, the Magnify will also be raising its paid rates by about 12 percent. Existing customers that are under contract for Pro or Enterprise services need not worry; the prices that they are paying will stay the same until the end of their contract term.

The move to extract more revenues from its users comes at exactly the same time that some other companies in the online video space are chopping prices to compete on the lower end of the market. Brightcove, for instance, announced a new self-serve pricing model in November that was designed to attract more small and medium-sized customers. But Magnify CEO Steve Rosenbaum said in a phone interview that his company is trying to show that its services have more value than some of the competition.

“This is a way to signal that we’re not in a race to the bottom,” Rosenbaum said. “This is us telling the market that the value proposition we provide should not be free or close to free.”

Besides, Rosenbaum says Magnify goes above and beyond just distributing videos. The company’s key differentiator is being able to also curate videos from various outlets around the web, allowing customers to mix and match content from multiple sources with their own. That increases the overall volume of video that is available to the end user, while driving deeper engagement.

It’s a service that not many other companies offer — Vodpod might be its closest comparable — and it’s also a service that’s pretty sticky, for customers and end users alike. However, it’s not clear how many of its free accounts will be willing to upgrade, or for how much. Magnify counts around 65,000 different user sites powered by its platform, but it will be interesting to see how many of those it is able to convert to a paid model. After all, $24.95 is a pretty low barrier to entry, but it’s nothing like free.


Cindy S. Rosenthal

Yes I think you are right. Lots of tricks and deceptive means..
This recent destruction of peoples channels just serves a similar purpose: Free users will try to circumvent the downgrades by setting up multiple channels. This in turn will boost signup statistics and they will seemingly “grow” significantly. It’s false though. I just hope that anyone who plans to partner up or invest in magnify give this a second thought. They aren’t trustworthy in my eyes.In fact they’ve lost all credibility, at least this is how I see it.
Cindy S. Rosenthal


All my hard work (3+ years) down the drain. I am VERY displeased with Magnify and will no longer be using their service.

I, like many other channel owners, feel tricked and deceived. First, they put xxx PORN ads on my family-friendly channel that had KIDS on it (they removed them after I complained)! And now this nonsense move.

Just to note, they no longer have anything to do with porn or porn ads. That was another trick they used a while back to lure in new channel owners. They lured them by allowing people to set up adult/porn channels. That obviously brought in a crapload of new people, users and traffic. Then they suddenly deleted the adult-related channels without notice. Total dick move.

Bottom line, I do not trust them as far as I can throw ‘em.


Agreed! They have killed video curation by punishing people for bringing visitors to their site – They charge 9.95 $ for 1000 page views. If you have 10.000 page views a day, they will charge you hundred dollars a day. If your page views are up, they will takeyour curated video archives hostage (incl. embedded links to youtube). If they had some success previously they attained that by deceptive means such as viral styled shill advertising. They suck!!

Woo Wan Mey

I really hate how they treat people at had a channel with of 2000 TCM videos and a large community.Now magnify forbids me to index the videos ?? Hello ???? Are you OK ????! You can’t do that! I think magnify will shut down itself within a year or so.

John Perkins

Yes, they did destroyed 60.000 peoples and communities work of years – at least it’s not listed anymore. I stopped visiting most of magnfiy channels sice the content is down . Silly idea to destroy content – this is what brought them visitors in the first place.

Wulf Goldman

This is likely going to be the death stroke for It was interesting watching Steve Rosenbaum run here and there, giving lenghty interviews about the future of video curation and how much he valued peoples expertise. Now he has destroyed most of his customers curation work in the hope that they will sign up for Pro in order to get their work restored. I call that bullying. It stinks….


Why would anyone pay 24.95 a month in order to do all the filtering & sorting? A lot of the “king curators” will be angry and stop their beneficial work. At least magnify should offer some sort of incentive for the free site owners if they get lots of page views or if their visitors sign up at I agree with you, John.


I 100% agree with you John, couldn’t have said it better. They are destroying for what they stood for.

John Perkins

That’s a bad move. Most free users on magnify just linked to video on google, youtube, dailymotion….etc. Those XML list’s didn’t cost magnify a penny, yet they earned cash with the ads on the embedded video pages. The “wind down” as you called it, inludes that magnify now trashes (moving them to inaccessable archives) any videos that are more then 200 in number. By this they reduce most of their own content (and revenue)as many visitors where attracted by the thousends of videos curated and sorted by genre and contend. This would be like blooger or myspace saying that you can can only post 200 articles, after that you got to upgrade to pro.In addition, deleting all your previous work. I also disagree that $24.95 a month is a pretty low barrier to enter for what they offer.Magnify claims “we curate video” – wrong: it’s been always the free magnify users that curated video.They did all the work. Why would they pay now? To not have their work of years destroyed? Now magnify has killed the idea of curation by their aggressive marketing strategies. RIP magnify and welcome to the Ferengi Nation.
Regards, John


I never heard of this service and I use live streaming sites and p2p every day. I use p2p 24/7 almost (sometimes down due to reboot but just about 24/7) and I use broadcast yourself stuff because its free. I watch others in free broadcast yourself places but considering that this is gong to make you pay when there are free options around, this article wasted my time. I’m not interested. I already pay $115.00 to get on the internet so why the feck would I want to pay $24.95 to go along with that + whatever other services i decide to buy. I think I’ll just keep my money and use the free services instead of having to dish out additional $.

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