Since 2009, I have spent a lot of time on YouTube (Orabrush and Poo~Pourri are the most notable YouTube marketing campaigns I helped launch) and I really love a lot of YouTube content. I know many top YouTubers personally and really like the people behind the content. Many of these great people grew up with different experiences than me or my kids and so they have a different value-set about language and content. There are so many YouTube videos that I would just remove one cleavage shot, one f-bomb, or one other clip in order to share with my young kids. There are a lot of really talented people on YouTube that I want to share, but I refrain to avoid introducing language and content that young minds really don’t need to think about.
About July of last year (2012), my brothers and I were in the office talking and they said how much they’d love to have a streaming service that would skip/mute content the way some DVD players were outfitted over the last 10 years. None of us buy DVDs anymore and there is no solution for our streaming content. At that moment, a light bulb went off in my head, “hey, I could build that on YouTube’s API and Google Play opens up Hollywood’s library for a streaming service!” I decided to see if I could get the concept working at nights. Within a month we had a very rudimentary prototype and my brothers were tagging my favorite movies. Even in its early state, I loved the product.
A year later, after endless hours of legal research, programming, business plans, and prepping a way more robust product, my brothers and I launched VidAngel, family FILTERS for Movies and YouTube. What I am most excited about is that VidAngel will allow anyone to filter a web video from their own home. They don’t have to wait for us to do it, they and the community can do it themselves and share it with others, for FREE (we pay people to help us tag the Hollywood content and we charge for that, but free YouTube content is free). This is the service I’ve wanted for the last 4 years and now I’m so excited to make it a reality. I’m also excited for all the people and resources that are turning up to help us in this massive effort to clean up YouTube and Hollywood for families (thanks to ABC4 for covering us on TV the first day of our presale campaign – my handsome brothers are pictured in their interview).
Imagine the serendipity I felt when Google launched Chromecast a few months back and I overnighted the device to my door. I was elated to learn that, with some work, we could take VidAngel to the HDTV.
VidAngel is a massive undertaking; we’re one week into this and we’re barely getting started. Many thanks to those who have joined us early in this effort. Let’s make streaming video family-friendly!