We live in an era where video footage dominates the news—viral videos flood social media feeds and reign supreme in the realm of broadcast journalism. Stringr , an online marketplace for video news footage, is capitalizing on this trend.
The platform, which launched in 2013, allows media outlets to buy videos from both professional and amateur videographers. This week, they raised a $1.5 million seed round.
Stringr works like this: a story begins to unfold and a media organization creates a request for video footage (interviews with civilians, B-roll, etc.) along with a deadline for the content. The request is then sent out to local videographers via Stringr's mobile app. The videographers, dubbed Stringrs, can then shoot video footage of the story with their smartphones or camera and upload the content directly to the site.
Once the footage is uploaded, media outlets can peruse previews of the content. If they like what they see, they can download the video and are put in direct contact with the videographer. Stringrs are paid individually for each piece of footage published or broadcasted.
This technological interaction creates an instantaneous connection between media giants and video freelancers, which is all part of Stringr’s mission.
“Stringr immediately connects media outlets with people who have the full intention of providing valuable footage and with that kind of network all over, we’re able to dial-in on breaking news and get footage in real time,” said Lindsay Stewart, CEO and cofounder of Stringr.
Stewart, a former TV news producer for Fox News, ABC and Bloomberg, founded the company with Brian McNeill, a former management consultant with Ernst and Young and Product Manager with Microsoft. Stringr’s roster also includes a curation team filled with seasoned journalists, who act as non-technical intermediaries between media organizations and freelancers.
Stringr initially launched in 14 markets, and the company plans to use the new funding to expand its international presence and videographer network.
While the platform is already sourcing its network for larger national events—such as yesterday’s mass shootings in San Bernardino—the company wants to be a resource for local events as well. While many newsrooms have scaled back on their videographer staff, Stringr’s network enables these organizations to gain access to thousands of videographers across the world.
Currently, Stringr has amassed about 11,000 videographers in the United States. With this network of highly responsive videographers at the ready, Stringr also has the opportunity to expand into other verticals, such as advertising or the entertainment industry.
The company’s recent funding comes from notable investors, including Matter Ventures, a San Francisco-based media startup accelerator, Founder.org and Rick Thompson of Signia Ventures.
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