Six billion hours of video are watched every month on Youtube, 300 hours of new video content are uploaded per minute and the average mobile users spends over 40 minutes per day watching videos on Youtube. Surprised? It goes without saying, but how we consume has drastically changed in a relatively short period of time – how we buy, how we watch, how we listen etc. This behavioral change has led to new market opportunities for entrepreneurs.
In 2006, Chris Savage (CEO) and Brendan Schwartz (CTO) started a company called Wistia. At the time, they competed with companies like Youtube, Vimeo, Brightcove, Grouper, Flimp, Fiddler, Veoh and the list goes on. Entrepreneurs were all fighting for early marketshare and relentlessly trying to build brand awareness and reputation – with the focus on the consumer. As Chris Savage recalled, “when we were starting, we noticed that people used Wistia for a million different things including internal training, collaboration, sales, marketing, and more. That felt fantastic. The hard part is that when people use your product for so many different things, it’s tough to focus on any one use case. During that time, our business struggled—and that struggle lasted for 4 years.” Wistia made a simple change to their business model, they decided to focus on video marketing.
Today, businesses can use Wistia to host, manage, share and track video engagement, which gives marketers clear insights into how users are interacting with their videos. Things like, when they stopped watching, what section they skipped, what they rewatched and more. They can even integrate external tools like Google Analytics. However, it’s Wistia’s focus on tracking metrics, customization and education that truly makes them stand out. Marketers can easily customize the video player to align with brand colors, add social share buttons and even add call to actions (CTAs) within the video. If you’re trying to step up your video game, check out their blog, it’s filled with helpful educational content – everything from lighting tricks to better storytelling techniques to defining your vision to differentiating your product.
Q&A with Co-Founder Chris Savage:
Why is it called Wistia?
When we came up with the name Wistia we were looking for something short, memorable, and available (.com). We wanted to be sure that if someone searched for us they would find us. ‘Wistia’ met the criteria, plus it was fun to say! It turns out that ‘wist’ is the past tense of ‘wit’ as in “to wit”. So ‘wist’ is like a memory of something fun or clever. We added the ‘ia’ to make it modern. Basically, we made up a word we liked.
What other brand names did you consider?
We considered a lot of other brand names. Our first project before we found Wistia was called Tropist, so we considered that. We also had a number of other bizarre names we were excited about like BigBasil, BigAxe, HappyGlad, and some others I’m still holding onto.
What’s the meaning behind your logo?
Internally, we call our logo the ribbons. You’ll notice that the ribbons start with a play button, which is in the negative space before the design begins. The bottom ribbon represents a play-bar and the top ribbon was inspired by the idea of tracking the viewing of a video. We wanted a look that was fun and flexible.
Often you hear, you need be 10X better than what exists in the market today. What’s your secret sauce?
If we have a secret sauce, it’s that we try to focus on building and managing the business for the long-term and that we are maniacally focused on culture, and creating an amazing place to work. We believe that if you love the work itself, it shows. When you love what you are doing you end up with tons of different little things all throughout the brand that add up to a really big difference.
SEE ALSO: Why is Youtube Called Youtube?
If you weren’t leading Wistia, what would you be doing?
I love the challenge of building things. If I wasn’t at Wistia I would be trying to re-create the type of company we have today. If we’re talking outside of work, I would spend more time trying to become a better rock climber (as I mostly only climbed in gyms) and I would probably go see more movies during the middle of the day.
What’s the craziest thing that you’ve experienced in the startup office life?
Wow, I don’t know if I can pick the craziest thing as there have been so many crazy things! How about the craziest thing in the last week? On Monday, we put together a parade for a video that we just released to celebrate a new pricing plan. The parade took place for an hour on the street behind our building and featured a marching band, lots of inflatable characters, a drone, a homemade float, Smart Cars sponsored by Smart Car, and a host of other wild stuff. The parade involved everyone on the team and took place at 10am on Monday. Stuff like this happens pretty frequently and every time it does I look around in awe of what we’ve built.
You’ve created a lot of video content, do you have a favorite?
Well my favorite video this week would be the parade announcing our new Wistia Enterprise Plan (check it out below). 🙂 Otherwise, I really love the recaps we do at the end of the year. You can check out our 2014 “I’m still breathing after all these years” recap here.
How creative is that video? It’s fun, clever and a little quirky, but that just triggers surprise, which leads to more shares. Round of applause, Wistia, very well done! According to Adelie Studios, 70% of marketers report that video converts better than any other medium. If you’re not using video in your marketing mix, why not? Comment below! Thanks for reading Why is Wistia Called Wistia?! #WhyisitcalledWistia
Adam Lang is the founder and editor of Rewind & Capture. He is passionate about creative marketing, design and brand etymology.