The Future of Online Video with Valerian Bennett & Cassy Martinez: PopChest AMA


(Cassy Martinez) #1

Hi friends!

We are beyond excited to co-host today’s AMA! We’re eager to answer your questions regarding distribution and monetization on our creator-first video platform, PopChest. Behind the keys you have PopChest’s Valerian Bennett (Founder & CEO) and Cassy Martinez (Director of Community). PopChest is an open platform for video distribution. Our community enables content creators to get paid directly for every video view with no ads and no subscriptions.

At PopChest, we pride ourselves on pay-day transparency. No middle man or mysterious algorithms here, creators take home 70% of the cash earned on their content. Upload a video today and you’ll unlock 100% of earnings while PopChest is in beta! We understand creating high quality content costs money! Make more moolah (and masterpieces) when you add PopChest to your revenue portfolio.

Feel free to ask us about monetizing your content, finding and reaching an audience, and more!

-Valerian & Cassy


We've got an AMA for that!
(Bri Castellini) #2

Welcome, both of you! Do either of you have a background in filmmaking or video making before PopChest?


(Meg Carroway) #3

Welcome! How does PopChest work if there aren’t ads or subscriptions?


(Anna Bateman) #4

Oh wow this is super interesting. For Cassy… what goes into being a director of community for this sort of a company/ business? What does that, like, mean?


(Bri Castellini) #5

@Monica_Quinn @hbnuss @kmd @JCaster @ghettonerdgirl @OSTSG @DarekKowal @spectatorspork @gmcalpin @hermdelica


(Joseph Steven Heath) #6

Do videos you upload to PopChest have to be exclusive to PopChest? For example, can I put my YouTube backlog on there and still keep my videos on YouTube, but offer up PopChest to fans as a way to support my content? Second, do you only allow webseries? What about sketches and short films?


(Jaime Lancaster) #7

I’m here! I’m here! Thanks for the tag!


(Jaime Lancaster) #8

Hi there!! Thanks for being here! How do you advertise this sort of system to audiences or viewers, especially audiences of digital content who often are students or broke 20-somethings?


(Chris Hadley) #9

To piggyback on @mintypineapple’s question: would short form content be ideal for monetization, as opposed to longer content?


(Valerian) #10

Hi Bri! Thanks for having us. First and foremost, I am a filmmaker. I studied at USC. For over a decade I was a network television editor (The Real World, RuPaul’s Drag Race…). So, I sat in this unique spot between the creatives and the distribution machine. There’s an obvious tension there which is very frustrating.

FWIW, I’m originally from San Jose, CA which is the heart of Silicon Valley. I’ve always been an artist with a strong geek bone! So, when I heard about bitcoin and blockchain technology I realized there was a possibility to completely change how media is distributed by circumventing the industry gatekeepers and going directly from creators to consumers. I quit my job, rolled the dice, and that’s the genesis of PopChest.


(Chris Hadley) #11

And what genres of web series content would work best for PopChest?


(Bri Castellini) #12

I bet this won’t be the first time I’m gonna sound dumb during this AMA, but… can you explain what that means? And why you chose to go Bitcoin instead of a Paypal/Patreon style route with “normal” currency? What’s the value in paying via Bitcoin, for consumers and for creators?


(Cassy Martinez) #13

Hi Meg! Thanks for your question. At PopChest, creators name their own price-per-view vs. taking home unpredictable ad revenue like on YouTube. For example, Creator Toby Turner has priced his PopChest exclusive video at 25¢ a view. While we are in beta, creator’s take home 100% of the cashflow they bring onto the platform. More moolah = more masterpieces!

We’ve included a nifty feature to our video player that includes the number of views creators would need to hit on platforms like YouTube to equate the earnings they make from PopChest. For example, Toby Turner’s 5K views on his PopChest exclusive video earned him the revenue equivalent of 928K views on YouTube.


(Ollie R) #14

Woah cool. When do you expect to be out of beta? And what do you expect to change when you launch officially?


(Valerian) #15

Re: exclusive… Videos on PopChest do not have to be exclusive. We see ourselves more as an addition to the ecosystem rather than a replacement. The use case example of putting your backlog on PopChest as a means of your fans to support you is a great one! We’re big believers in Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans theory and we’re finding there are people in your audience that are literally waiting to give you money. But, now it’s pretty hard to do that without a big commitment (like a monthly subscription). We want to change that.

Re: series only… PopChest has a wide range of content such as web series, music videos, and short films. Our initial targets are these because we see them as a massively un-monetized opportunity. Hopefully we can help create a market that doesn’t really exist right now.

Thanks for your question!


(Cassy Martinez) #16

Hi Anna, thanks for your question! My role as Director of Community truly runs the gamut, and I’m having a blast! While we are in beta, my duties include creator outreach to folks just like you, working with our social team to build our voice, and top-level strategies for audience growth and sustainability.

I have a question for you as well, if you don’t mind! What do you look for in a digital community that keeps you coming back for more?!


(Meg Carroway) #17

Wow those are really impressive numbers! Do you have any insight into the general demographics of your userbase?


(Ollie R) #18

if shows aren’t exclusive to your platform, what’s the advantage for a viewer to pay instead of watching for free?


(Anna Bateman) #19

Well, I come back to Stareable mostly because I get to ask questions and participate in cool stuff like this :slight_smile:

I also feel like it’s ok if I don’t know something here, and that people are willing to help me out if I have questions without making me feel stupid. I’m really trying to avoid saying “safe space” but safe space is kinda what I mean.


(Meg Carroway) #20

Same! Jumping in to answer here, it’s really the people that make or break a community. What is their motivation for being a community member, how active is the community, and if I feel like I can contribute either by asking questions and getting answers or offering advice to someone else.