A few weeks ago, one of my favorite music start-ups Cull.TV was purchased by social video network TwitVid.
Cull.TV is a next generation video curation platform that promotes videos from breaking indie artists, while generating suggested video channels for users based on their Facebook activity.
Cull’s deal with Twitvid was a surprise to me, because I had just interviewed Co-Founder John Hurliman a few weeks before and he never mentioned a possible buyout. So last week, I decided to reach out John to discuss the deal with Twitvid and see what was next for Cull.TV.
The last time we talk was about a month ago?
Yeah, it was right before we started doing the acquisition talk with TwitVid. When I talked to you, we were still plugging along with the product and we started talking to TwitVid shortly after that.
Will Cull.TV remain the same or will it merge onto the TwitVid platoform?
TwitVid doesn’t have any plans of intergrating the actual Cull.TV service. There is a bit of a overlap. They want to offer some of the same things that Cull.TV offers, like bringing interesting videos to the top and showing people what music videos are relevant. They also have a much broader approach with television, fashion and other types of non-music video content.
So Cull.TV is gonna remain independent, but we still don’t know the long-term future of the product. That has always been in the air, but we are hoping to keep it running as long as people are interested in the service. We won’t be doing as much active development – it’s gonna be more bug fixing and making sure what we have is running as accurate as possible. We have a curator who is working with the artists and labels to make sure we continue to deliver premium content.
Will your role remain the same?
I’m looking at handing more of the active development to a different team so I can concentrate on product development.
Why did the deal with TwitVid make sense to you and Katherine?
TwitVid is doing what we were doing on a much larger scale with a broader audience. They have been around for five years and they have gone through two rounds of funding – so they are a much more maturer company and there now really expanding their team. It seemed like a really good fit – to get in and use some of that extra horse power they have to build a larger audience and raise some extra capital. We are looking at building something much bigger than what we currently have.
There has been a bit of activity lately with larger companies buying out smaller video services like yours. Why do you think that is staring to happen?
I think there was a big rush to create lots of small start-ups that solved a lot of problems a few years ago, and now a lot of those companies are folding or going under. You are seeing a lot of companies having issues with raising additional capital to stay alive – so start-ups are starting to consolidate their efforts by coming together.
Cull.TV was moving along pretty well, but we figured we could scale much faster by joining forces with TwitVid. A couple of videos service have been doing that just to get ahead of competition because that space is really starting to pick up right now.
When we first talked, it seemed like Cull.TV was very passionate about helping indie artists further their careers. How will the acquisition affect that?
With the team we have at TwitVid being able to create more deals, and having more people who are able to work individually with acts and labels – music will still be a big focus for us. The expansion of our network, has created more resources and marketing channels to help artists push their content out to a much broader audience.
We can offer more specialized promotional packages like video exclusives, and to be honest there were a lot of things we wanted to do for artists at Cull.TV but our team was just too small.
If I were to talk to you three years from now, what would have had to happen for you to feel satisfied with the progress or impact Cull.TV has made?
I would like to see what we initially envisioned Cull.TV as become true. A video service that you can watch your mobile phone, laptop or television – that provides you with relevant video content whether its music videos, world news or stuff you may have never known of.