There’s a new social network hitting the town, something akin to a 15-second mobile video version of Twitter, and the founders of Shoutz think they’re onto something big.
Coming off a soft launch with partners such as Nascar Members Club, NFL Alumni and the Tennis Channel, Shoutz is now making its service available free on Android Froyo 2.2 and higher and the iPhone 4 and 4S.
The videos, which are up to 15 seconds long, are geared particularly around fan clubs for sports teams and celebrities, both in the worlds of music and acting. It’s ad supported.
According to Shoutz CEO Jim Mueller, who’s also host of The American Outdoorsman TV show, the draw is two-fold. It’s about sharing an instant, deep connection with fans on mobile devices and it’s about driving meaningful analytics.
The Austin, Texas, company was started as a video social network to take clips from shows like the one Mueller hosts. Red McCombs, a Texas auto dealer, is currently the firm’s only outside investor.
Mueller emphasizes that Shoutz doesn’t share phone numbers or email addresses; the information is aggregated so personal information isn’t disseminated. But the information is designed to provide pertinent demographics and usage patterns to the celebrities or charities that are using it.
Videos can be “re-shouted,”pushed to Facebook or Twitter or sent via email. Shoutz plans to work with some existing mobile ad networks but leave the door open for fan clubs to sell their own ads.
How is the network going to avoid too much corporate-speak? Some social networks are cluttered with it. Mueller says Shoutz isn’t letting big corporations come in unless they’re a financial partner, so “we’re going to keep this focused on users”and the fan clubs that are using it as a vehicle to drive revenue.
The revenue share with advertisers and fan clubs is 50 percent.
Rick Hennessey, CEO of Cequint and a Shoutz board member, says what he finds appealing is the artists responsible for the content get a better share of the revenue than in other models. The 15-second limit on videos means wireless carriers aren’t devoting a ton of bandwidth – as might be the case with longer-winded videos – and it forces participants to get to the point.
He offers up a couple examples of how the service might be used, like an NFL player sharing a great catch or a rock star sending a snapshot – in this case, video – of a concert. Twitter is great and tweets made sense for SMS, but what Shoutz is doing is making better use of advanced networks and supporting it with the ads, he says.