Viki (website)

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Viki
Type Private
Industry Online streaming video
Founded 2007
Area served Global
Key people Razmig Hovaghimian (CEO)
Products Internet Television
Services Crowdsourced Subtitles
Website www.viki.com

Viki is a video streaming website based in Singapore that offers on-demand streaming video of TV shows, movies, and music videos from around the world.[1] The company has offices in Singapore, San Francisco, Indonesia, and Seoul, South Korea.[2]

The name Viki is a play on the words video and Wiki, drawing similarities to those companies' use of volunteers for content management.[3] The company won the Crunchie award for best international start-up company in January 2011.[4]

History[edit]

Razmig Hovaghimian, Changseong Ho and Jiwon Moon founded Viki in 2007.[5] Funding for the company originally came from Neoteny Labs, a Singapore start-up fund headed by Joichi Ito, and from the co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman.[6] The company moved to Singapore in 2008 to take advantage of generous government backing and the city-state’s role as a pan-Asian hub.[7] In December 2010, Viki exited the beta phase of its software and made its services available to the general public.[5] In September 2013 it was reported that the company was being acquired by the Japanese company Rakuten for $200 million.[8]

Services[edit]

Viki screens premium licensed content in a similar way that Hulu does in U.S. markets.[1] The site then puts the content on one of its channels, and the content is subtitled by a team of volunteers from the community under a Creative Commons license. The translating software developed for the company allows volunteers to translate in up to 160 languages.[1] Viki also syndicates its shows with fan-generated subtitles to partners such as Hulu, Netflix, and Yahoo!, and receives fees and revenue from those distributors.[3][9]

Of the approximately 200 language subtitles available on the site, roughly 50 of these are vulnerable or endangered languages.[10]

Corporate partnerships[edit]

In September 2011, Viki debuted a new iPhone app called Viki On-The-Go, allowing users to watch content on their smartphones. The company also partnered with Samsung Southeast Asia that year to develop an Android app.[11][12] Viki.com drew 14 million unique views in August 2011. Viki raised $20 million from Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, and BBC Worldwide in October of that year.[6][7][12]

In May 2012, Viki announced deals with Warner Music, SEED Music Group of Taiwan, and LOEN Entertainment of South Korea, bringing thousands of music videos to the site.[13] In that same month, BBC Worldwide announced an extension of its relationship with Viki, including a deal to work with the company on advertising.[11]

In July 2012, Viki inked a non-exclusive deal with the Chinese social network Renren, in which Viki would provide a video site for the social network called VikiZone.[12] The deal includes only a portion of the Viki catalog and is offered for free.[14]

The company has a list of partners for sourcing original content, including BBC Worldwide. The company has also signed distribution deals for its original content with Hulu, Netflix, Yahoo!, MSN, NBC, and A&E, as well as TVB in Hong Kong, SBS in South Korea, Fuji TV in Japan and Amedia in Russia.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Holmes, Sam. "Singapore Start-up Sees Gold Mine In Foreign Language TV". WSG. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvTh7E_ck4Q
  3. ^ a b "Viki". CrunchBase. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Rao, Leena. "Congratulations Crunchies Winners! Twitter Takes Best Startup Of 2010". Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Bertschy, Zac. "Interview: Razmig Hovaghimian, Cofounder and CEO of Viki.com". Anime News Network. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Breaking Down Communication Barriers". WSJ. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Lacy, Sarah. "ViKi Raises $4.3 Million from VC All-Stars to Translate the World's Video". TechCrunch. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Exclusive: Japan’s Rakuten Acquires Viki Video Site for $200 Million". Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Greg, Bates. "Viki Video: 1 Billion Videos in 150 languages Means Never Having to Say Rerun". Programmable Web. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  10. ^ 2014-06-10, Can fans unravel the Babel of the world's TV dramas?, CNN
  11. ^ a b c Rao, Leena. "International Video Site ViKi Debuts iPhone App, Will Partner With Samsung For Android App". TechCrunch. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c Boyd, E.B. "Boom Tube: How Viki Is Creating The Global Hulu". Fast Company. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "Global video site Viki moves into music, inks deals with Warner Music and other labels". The next Web. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  14. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "Viki Climbs The Great Firewall, Signs With ‘China’s Facebook’ Renren For Its First Video Distribution Deal In The Country". TechCrunch. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 

External links[edit]