The Viral Video Villain (www.viralvideovillain.com) just got a $1 million investment. Dan Ackerman Greenberg, who caused quite a stir with his “Secret Strategies Behind Viral Videos,” is now 750 Industries. Or as TechCrunch put it, “The Viral Video Guy Gets $1 Million.”
Greenberg explained 750 Industries to TechCrunch’s Michael Arington as, “a startup providing viral media distribution solutions that gives content owners and advertisers quick and effective access to millions of consumers.” And they say the company is already “very profitable.”
Then, with David Blaine agility, Greenberg took Arington’s watch off and pocked it. But not before hypnotizing him to write another promotional post for him. But if you don’t believe he’s profitable than click this thumbnail for a hot naked woman.
While I may not agree with Greenberg’s boasting of manipulative approaches to get video views, you have to give him three props:
- Greenberg has a killer logo. It’s modern, but very James Bond. It makes me want a martini.
- He snagged a million dollars. My guess is he’s already half way to Mexico with that money. And investor Ron Conway (Maples Investments and Baseline Ventures) is going to soon find some moldy boxes packed with counterfitted bail bonds in the empty office that was formerly Yelp’s. But he did it.
- He’s a pioneer in a burgeoning industry that could be likened to the early days of search-engine optimization. Just like firms approach Google placement with paid ads and organic strategies to rank high, companies will promote videos with a “paid” and “earned” approach. Eventually the market will transform from black hat to white hat tactics (or dare I say “from Wicked Witch to Glenda‘), and will be as reputable as the industry that focus on organic website optimization.
The original search-engine marketing (SEM) firms would promise top placements and use link farms and mirror sites to trick Google. But now many of them work ethically and responsibly to ensure that websites are built so Google search spiders can index the site appropriately, and that titles, metatags, copy and image tags are carefully chosen for relevance. The companies that try to trick Google and web searchers (like illegitimate online pharmacies and porn sites) are eventually pushed down on rankings or eliminated from Google’s results.
That’s where online video is going. Google’s technology and the wisdom of crowds will eventually render tricks (like fake headlines and autobots commenting) ineffective. And that’s when it gets interesting.
But want to know a little secret? The first companies to figure this out for clients won’t be the advertising agencies, and probably won’t even be digital agencies. It will be nimble firms that have an understanding of online video, technology and marketing. So while 750’s exit strategy may be selling to a digital agency, Greenberg does have a first-mover advantage.