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Our CEO Carey Martell is a "vetrepeneur".
Click the above image to learn how Martell TV will help veterans like him!
Or click here to watch TV journalist Sarah Hill's interview with Carey about the project!
What is Martell TV?
We are building a mobile application and website that will allow people to create custom TV channels using videos from their favorite Youtube creators, which will update every day with the newest videos from those creators. It may be easier to think of our project as Pandora, but for Youtube; although Martell TV is much more than that. Read on to learn more.
Are You a Youtube Creator?
If so, this app will do the most for you. Don't believe us?
I challenge you to do the following:
Go to your Youtube Analytics page and look at traffic sources for each video you make, especially your recent ones.
I am willing to bet the overwhelming majority of your subscribers are NOT visiting your video from your subscription feed, right? Well guess what? Youtube has done this on purpose. Click here to learn what "highlights for feeds" is.
I challenge you to do another thing:
Go to the "Browse channels" page on Youtube and try to find your own channel in the Categories. Heck, try refreshing the page and see if your channel ever appears in the Recommended Channels list -- or those of ANY of your friends!
Unless your friend's name is JonTron or National Geographic, you aren't gonna see your friends in these places.
Much like Facebook, Youtube now wants Youtubers to pay Google money to get videos seen by the audience you already have. They have purposely killed off free methods of promotion. Don't believe me? Go to your Video Manager and click the downward arrow icon. Select Promote.
You will find a screen for purchasing an AdWords campaign pops up. Go ahead and test the calculator out. See how expensive it is to just get 12,000 views -- and that doesn't guarentee a single person will even subscribe to you. They may have watched your video for a handful of seconds, but Youtube will still charge you!
Still don't believe Youtube wants Youtube creators to pay them ungodly sums of money? Read this blog article from the Youtube Creator blog.
The good ol' days are gone guys. Youtube has become incredibly commercial at the expense of the Youtube community. They have re-designed the site to drive tons of traffic to those channels willing to pay for AdWords campaigns and to YT Networks Google has personally invested into.
We are trying to RESTORE the community aspects of Youtube by creating our third party application and website that gives YOU more control over your watch experience.
And concerning 'highlights for feeds', Youtube is focused on making the "perfect search algorithm" that will know what you want to watch. We'd much rather give people more control over their searches and subscriber feeds, because we think YOU know what you want to watch better than any algorithm ever will.
Take Some Time to Learn About Martell TV
I realize it is a lot of information to read on our page, but before you knock what we're doing you should take a closer look. Youtube turns 8 years old next month. 72 hours of footage are uploaded every minute. Youtube has become a sea of videos where the majority of YT creators drown, because Youtube charges you money for the life preserver -- AdWords campaigns. And as soon as you stop paying they let you drown again.
The Martell TV application will not be yet another wannabe video viewing application that looks like a music player. This application will be a true video channel guide modeled after the traditional television experience that people have been using since the 70s to help them decide what to watch.
You'll even be able to watch the videos on your HD TV and use your mobile phone / tablet like a remote control! And video discovery will be much easier than on Youtube. Keep reading about our project to learn more!
Martell Brothers Studios seeks to create the best mobile video viewing application in the world. Around the office we're calling it, 'the one video viewing app to rule them all'. We've code named the project 'Martell TV'.
This application will...
- Synchronize with your Youtube channel, allowing you to 'like' and favorite Youtube videos from your mobile application AND organize your subscriber feeds by tagging Youtube channels with labels like 'game reviewers' or 'makeup gurus'.
- It will also link up to your blip.tv account, allowing you to do the same thing as for Youtube.
- Allow you to create your own custom channel with all your favorite shows!
- Merge with your other social profiles (Facebook Profile AND Pages, Twitter, reddit, stumbleupon, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc ) allowing you to easily share your custom channels with your friends!
- Link with your HD TV or computer screen, allowing you to watch the videos from the comfort of your couch while using your mobile phone like a remote control!
- Learn from your video watching habits and suggest new shows you might like.
- Allow your Youtube subscribers to find your account on our app (so basically, if Youtube unsubs your followers due to a bug, you won't lose the ones who are following you through our app!)
Martell TV will be both a mobile viewing application AND a website you can access with any web browser! And it will be a FREE DOWNLOAD not requiring a monthly subscription or anything! There will be an Android and Apple iOS version, working for both smart phones and tablets.
Click the image below to watch a follow-up video explaining more!
And we aren't the only ones. According to Google Search there are 473,000 matches for the exact keyword phrase "Youtube layout sucks". Bear in mind, that is 473,000 people who actually took the time to type their contempt for the layout. There are legions more who don't verbalize what we all know to be true: Youtube's layout sucks.
And it's not getting any better.
Youtube's team did a reddit thread a week ago, and the feedback is overwhelming that people don't like the new layout, and want more control over their site experience than Google is giving them.
There is an old saying that tells us to, "be the change we want to see in the world".
We want a new layout, so we're going to make one!
The Whole Shebang!
We will create a video graphical user interface (GUI) for mobile internet devices, enabling users to both search through AND create customized video episodes.
One of the biggest problems with video players these days is there are too many unnecessary things to click on. Our video player is very simple; after selecting an episode from the video guide menu, you can skip episodes or backup to watch previous episodes, similar to how you would if you're familiar with DVR. The difference here is that the videos are pulled from indie creators on Youtube and blip.tv
Furthermore, rather than have a bunch of silly buttons for 'like', 'dislike', 'favorite' and 'share with Facebook / Twitter / etc', our player has a single 'Like' button. When you click our 'like' button, your Youtube channel will 'like' the video and add it to your 'favorites'. Your Facebook and Twitter profiles will also share the video with your social network. PLUS if your Youtube channel isn't already, you'll become subscribed to the channel that made the video you liked! All in one go!
You'll even be able to customize the message you send to your social network when you share the video with your friends.
(Note: You will have the option to choose what happens when you like a video. If you don't want to auto-subscribe, you won't have to. You'll be able to uncheck a box for that option. This is just the default setting.)
With Martell TV, watching and sharing videos will never be complicated ever again!
Finally, you'll be able to comment on the video directly from the Martell TV app by just pausing the video and using the 'Comment on this' function!
'Episode Containers' allow you to bundle videos from multiple creators into TV Shows!
One of the challenges of getting people to watch videos is to let them be discovered. The biggest problem with Youtube Search is that videos can last anywhere from 10 seconds to an hour, yet no matter how long the video lasts, the video takes up the same amount of space in the Youtube search page! This results in the user being overwhelemed by too many videos, and they don't click on all the videos that appear in the search results. People rarely go past the first page of search results because there is simply too many choices for them to make!
Our solution to this problem is to allow multiple videos of varying duration to be bundled together into what we call an 'episode container'. These containers have their own names in the channel timeline but can include enough videos to create 30 minute or 1 hour blocks of programming. So, for example, you could combine 6 game review videos each lasting 5 minutes to create a half-hour 'Game Review' episode container that airs between 3 pm and 3:30 in your guide timeline.
The custom video episodes are considered to be a 'container' for each video to be labeled under. Our GUI allows for two or more videos of different run time durations to be assembled together to play immediately after one another without the user needing to 'play' each video individually, and without the user necessarily being aware the 'video episode container' is actually separate video files assembled into one viewing experience. This is because videos organized into an 'episode container' are displayed to the user through the GUI as if they were a single video with a custom title and video description created within the mobile application.
'Video episode containers' are able to, through a discovery algorithm, receive data from the video hosting server that allows replacement of the videos in the 'container' without the 'container' itself changing position in the video channel timelines, or for the 'video episode container' needing to be wholly re-created. The mobile application is able to communicate with the video hosting server to swap videos, displaying the newest, oldest or random videos selected from the host server, while the custom title and video description of the 'video episode container' remains unchanged.
The value of the episode container is that many Youtube videos have difficulty standing alone. These videos would work better if they were part of a segment of a longer episode; as an example, you could combine six 5 minute game review videos into a single game review show.
If you do a news show, your 5 minute video about sports could be bundled with someone else's 5 minute show about technology news, and someone else could contribute a 5 minute video about politics. Bundling videos into episodes in this manner allows the crowdsourcing of a TV episode, allowing you to join forces to create a show that will reach more people than if you were to be independent.
Show your support! Sign up for our open beta test by clicking here!
Custom Channel of Episode Containers
The video GUI also displays a graphical channel changer composed of channel boxes that show logos of available video channels. The 'episode containers' are displayed as boxes organized in a chronological timeline representing a 24 hour block of programming. When new videos are swapped out inside each 'episode container', the position of the 'episode container' in the video channel timeline does not change. However the GUI is capable of moving the episode containers up or down the timeline, removing the episode containers from the timeline, or transfer the episode containers to different video channels throughout the application.
To create a customized video channel list, the video GUI is switched into a mode that allows the user to, using a drag and drop procedure, manipulate graphical boxes representing the 'custom video episodes containers' previously generated by the user. The user is able to create a 24 hour block of programming using the custom video episode 'containers'. Unwanted episode containers can be removed from the list by clicking on an icon representing removal or by using a drag and drop procedure to remove the video episode 'container' from the timeline.
Video Guide Watching Experience
Through the use of finger gesture commands, the user is able to move the channel changer timeline up and down or left to right, in order to find the shows they wish to watch.
By default, Martell TV will start with several pre-created custom channels like 'Games', 'History', 'Beauty', 'Music' and so forth. All of these channels will have episode containers like 'Game Reviews', 'Hair Style', 'Rock & Roll Music Videos' that have specific suggested time slots on the channel.
All of these episodes will have Youtube and blip.tv videos hand-picked by Martell Brothers Studios' employees for quality assurance, but you'll be able to customize your channel timeline by assembling your own episode containers from videos you want to watch back to back in the same timeslot, and plug them into custom channels.
So, if you decide you don't like our Gaming Channel lineup, it's no problem! You'll be able to make your own Gaming Channel from your favorite gaming shows, and the episode containers will automatically update with the latest videos from those creators without you needing to do anything!
You'll be able to add hundreds of custom channels to your version of the guide timeline, similar to how you can add tons of playlists with your music players, but in a way that is more natural for viewing video content. The ShowTitle box will also alert you when new videos have been added for a show.
- The GUI is also capable of allowing the user to share the customized video channels and video episode containers with other users through electronic means of communication using the internet.
- The GUI also allows the user to search through closed caption scripts to discover videos, and display videos discovered this way in a chronological timeline based on the time the video was published to the web.
- The GUI allows the user to search through the custom video episode containers title and description to discover new videos, and display videos discovered this way in a chronological timeline based on the time the video was published to the web.
- The GUI also allows the user to search through video titles and descriptions suggested by their friends using the device, and display videos discovered this way in a chronological timeline based on the time the video was published to the web.
Martell TV will have some default channels in the guide portion. Many of the videos in the default channel list will be from our own Martell Brothers Network Partners, but pledgers will also have their videos included, too.
Furthermore, some of the default channels are meant for shining a spotlight on social causes we want to support.
For example, Martell Brothers Studios is partnering with Warrior Works to create an internet television channel on Martell TV aimed at sharing the stories of US military veterans, as well as providing vets with information and news relevent to their needs. Martell Bros. is operating this channel at no cost to the Warrior Works project.
Show your support! Sign up for our open beta test by clicking here!
Our application will track how often you watch certain types of programming and reward you for it. This is primarily meant to let you know more about your video watch habits, but it is also used by Martell TV to suggest new programs for you to watch that you haven't seen before.
We want to stress that last part again; Martell TV will use data about your video watch habits to suggest new channels that you've never heard about before. This is completely different than Youtube's algorithm that keeps recommending big name Youtube channels you've already seen some videos from, and decided to not subscribe to.
Martell TV will give users more control over the recommended feed. They can control the parameters of the feed so that displayed channels require a high % of "engagement", which means there is a lot of commenting and sharing of those videos from YT already. This metric has nothing to do with views. It has to do with the % of people who watched it and then decided to comment.
Additionally, we can also have more parameters for the recommended feed list so that it shows channels between certain subscriber thresholds, or channels that are brand new or old, etc, etc.
Basically, our plan is to give people enough tools to find what they want, rather than try to make the 'perfect algorithm' and cross our fingers hoping it shows what people want, (which is what Youtube is doing. Trying to make 'perfect algorithms' rather than simply giving users better controls).
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, MOVIE RENTALS!
Did you know you could rent movies through your Youtube account? Well, you can, and with Martell TV you'll be able to rent those films using our application, enabling you to watch them on the go!
The website version of the application will be accessed by any web browser, and just like the app, essentially be an interface for Youtube and blip.tv that also brings all your social networks together.
We have an existing website, www.tubepartnerz.com , that we will be rebuilding from scratch to be a thousand times better than it currently is. Right now the website requires one of our employees to manually add channels, but we'll be making it so creators can add themselves to the website and manage what videos and details are listed on their page. Adding themselves through the website will also make their videos available through our mobile application!
We'll also add powerful search functions on the website offering more parameters than what Youtube Search allows. We'll have a feature similar to Amazon top lists that allow users to tag their favorite channels and videos into a list, which other users can easily find. We predict this will help discovery a great deal.
We also envision the website allowing third party development for additional plugins that provide more features. We want our site to be as modular as Wordpress but focused on the discovery of video content.
Lastly, you'll be able to better manage your subscribers with powerful new messaging tools that are independent of Youtube's personal messaging system. Your Youtube and blip.tv subscribers will be able to find your Martell TV channel page and auto-follow you. Plus we'll never add something stupid like 'highlights for feeds', and you'll be able to create mailing letters to keep your fans alerted about your recent videos.
What We Need & What You Get
We know exactly what to build and how we're going to build it. All we need is the money to pay for the programmers, the graphic artists and running the site server for the first year. We can produce this application in 4 weeks if we just had enough cash, but unfortunately we only have $1,000 of the $30,000 we need!
$5 will get your name included in a thank you video uploaded to the Martell Brothers' Youtube channel, immortalizing your name as one of the legendary pledgers who helped make this app a reality! Lastly, as a special bonus, you'll receive a copy of Carey's ebook 'How to Market Youtube Videos : Guide for Beginners'.
$25 will get your Youtube or blip.tv channel listed on the Donators Hall of Fame page of our website, along with a back-link to your personal website. You will also become a beta-tester of the application, and invited to join an exclusive Facebook group for closed beta testers, to provide us with feedback on the application and website before we launch the open beta.
$35 will get you an additional 20 invites to our Closed Beta which you can share to your friends and family, or offer as giveaway / contest prizes.
$50 will get your Youtube channel's videos plugged into our app, allowing your videos to be discovered by those who watch the "Donators Channel" of our application's Channel Guide. This will be one of the default channels on the video guide timeline available to all users who download the app.
Because our application has the capacity to rotate the videos appearing in an 'episode container', there is no limit to the number of Youtube channels we could plug into our custom Donators' channel.
$100 will get your channel into our Dashboard's recommended channels feed. Your channel will be among the default choices to check out to all users who use our app.
$200 will get your Youtube or blip.tv videos in one of our default content channels that are permanently part of the video guide timeline, such as the Gaming Channel, Beauty Channel, Cooking Channel, Cartoon Channel, Short Films Channel, etc It doesn't matter what kind of videos you make, we'll make a channel that fits your content if we have to. But better act fast; only 500 lucky pledgers will get this one!
$500 you will get you a copy of our source code, allowing you (or someone you know) to modify it to suit your needs. Even if you need to hire a programmer to do the modifications, this will be MUCH CHEAPER than needing to hire them to make the application from scratch.
Bear in mind, Martell TV will NOT be open sourced; instead we will give you a royalty free license lasting in perpetuity allowing you to modify it for your specific needs.
But if you want our source code, you better act quick! Only 200 pledgers can get this offer!
$10,000 will make your custom channel into a default channel for our video guide timeline. It'll sit next to other default channels, like 'Gaming', 'Beauty', 'Gadgets', 'History' and 'Cartoons'. This pledge GUARANTEES that our users will see your videos. If you run a Youtube network or have a bunch of blip.tv videos you want people to watch (enough to fill an entire 24/hour block of programming) then this is the gig for you. But better act now; only 50 pledgers can have their own default channel with our app!
BONUS: If we raise $50,000 we will include support for Vimeo!
Disclaimer: All videos appearing in our application must comply with all of Youtube's Terms of Services. If you pledge and request us to plug in videos that infringe these terms of services, such as re-uploaded music videos belonging to artists you don't have permission for, we will reject your submission and refund your money. This application is meant to empower CREATORS.
This application will be the ripple that causes a new wave. Google keeps re-designing Youtube to be less user-friendly and drive more traffic to big name creators that have huge networks and funding behind them. As for blip.tv their website is extremely user unfriendly and very few people use it to discover videos.
With this application, more indie creators will be able to stand out because they can band together to combine their videos into a 24 hour block of programming on a channel, and then share those custom channels with their friends who can plug that custom channel into their TV guide timeline. This will be like Pandora for video watching.
Furthermore, those who already use Youtube can more effectively manage their Youtube subscriptions by tagging channels and then suggest them to their friends.
You'll also be able to tag some channels as being more important than others, ensuring you'll never miss another subscription feed update from your favorite Youtube channel while using Martell TV!
How to Upgrade Your Perk
If you've already contributed but want to upgrade your perk, then you'll need to contribute the full amount to claim the perk, and then get your smaller amount pledge refunded (refunds will be given by PayPal, whether you used it or not).
What Happens If We Don't Get Enough Money?
Some people have asked what happens if we only raise part of the money for the app. Unlike Kickstarter, here on Indiegogo we keep whatever money is raised whether the project reaches fund-raising goals or not.
Indiegogo was chosen because prior to making this project, Martell Brothers has been looking for investors willing to take on the financial risk of building the app. While many have liked the idea, they have also been unsure of the audience for it. What we've discovered is a lot of people don't fully grasp the power of Youtube and that an app like this could revolutionize everything.
However, if we can raise at least part of the money and get a lot of open beta signups we believe we can use that information as evidence that a market exists, and get investors to cover the rest of the funds.
That said, it's much better if we get fully funded. Investors tend to want to get their money back as quickly as possible, and that can make things challenging when your goal is to make a truly free app to the end-user. We hope we will be able to raise the funds through this project so Martell Brothers Studios is free to develop the app the way we want to.
Other Ways You Can Help
Some people just can’t contribute, and we understand that. Here's some things you can do.
- Join our Facebook Page, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to us on Youtube!
- Share this project with all your friends! Join our Facebook Event for this project!
Show your support!
Download our flyer, print a bunch of copies and hang them around town!
Team on This Campaign: