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You might remember VidCaster, the San Francisco–based startup that provides professional video distribution tools but with a super simple user interface. In our initial coverage of the company, we likened it to a “Tumblr for video.” At that time the company was still in private beta, working out the kinks and trying to make its platform even easier to use and understand. But now it has pulled the beta tag off its product and is making it available to anyone who wants to sign up.
VidCaster’s big value proposition — and its competitive advantage against some of the larger online video distribution platforms, like Brightcove or Ooyala — is that it combines all the tools one might need to set up a video page and archive, without requiring all the usual necessary technical expertise used to deploy those sites.
Typically online video platforms really only provide the video player and distribution engine needed to get things started, but it’s up to the customer to actually create, develop and maintain the web pages that those videos show up on. VidCaster takes away that pain by providing an all-in-one dashboard for creating video sites, with customizable landing pages, archives and video player. It also includes built-in social sharing tools to integrate with a customer’s Twitter or Facebook campaigns.
Vidcaster is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, and those that want to use video for marketing but for which video distribution isn’t a core competency. A good example is Airbnb, which has used VidCaster to power its Airbnb TV site to explain what Airbnb is all about and what kind of listings are available in various cities around the world. (Think Cribs for online apartment rentals.)
It’s priced for the small and medium-sized business market as well: Its entry-level plan starts at just $39 a month for 10 GB of storage and 50 GB of bandwidth used each month. Price plans go up to $249 a month for a Pro account that includes 125 GB of storage and 750 GB of bandwidth, with a standard plan of $99 a month for 40 GB of storage and 250 GB of bandwidth. That’s well below some of its bigger competitors, and could provide a decent value for companies looking for a drop-dead simple way to jump into video distribution.