Newest Howcast Video: How to Celebrate Two Years of Growth

Instructional online video company Howcast may not host a video titled, “How to use how-to videos to communicate more effectively with consumers,” but it provides the answer to that question by allowing companies to use how-to videos posted on its Website and on the Howcast Distribution Network to target the right consumers with their content.

The company said its Howcast Distribution Network is made up of “tens of thousands of distributors” — mobile, online, broadcast TV and video-on-demand — including YouTube, where Howcast is a top-100 content partner with 110,000 subscribers, as well as Hulu and Yahoo!.

Howcast, which will celebrate its two-year anniversary Feb. 6, serves more than 25 million video views every month, and traffic to its Website has been doubling each quarter. On the mobile side, its content has been downloaded on iPhone and Android handsets more than 1 million times.

Howcast produces how-to videos, aggregates related content from other sources and hosts videos produced by clients, and co-founder and chief operating officer Daniel Blackman said, “When we work with brands, we produce content in two big buckets — one from an editorial standpoint and one from a client-driven standpoint. The video has to be seen. You can make the best video in the world, but it’s also got to be consumed.”

As for making sure videos are indeed consumed, Howcast adds to exposure on its Website and via its Howcast Distribution Network by tailoring campaigns to the needs of its clients. Blackman said:

Depending on the content, we will go and seek out smart distribution outlets beyond the ones we’ve negotiated down the long tail. We will also create targeted rich-media campaigns to guarantee playback of that content through media buys. If the client is involved, they’ll have their own platforms to get the content out.

Clients can embed the how-to videos on their own Websites and blogs.


One reason for the success of the company’s how-to videos is that their content is entertaining and informational and doesn’t come across as one long commercial for the client’s brand. “We can do something more subtle with product placement,” Blackman said. “It’s not hitting you over the head with the product. It’s showing you the features in an entertaining, branded environment.”

The recent public-beta launch of TV-over-Internet service Boxee was another success story for Howcast, as its how-to video was included in the launch. “Once you download Boxee and fire up the software, the video is right there to show you how to get the best out of Boxee,” Blackman added.

From the About Howcast Media page:

From How to Write a Resume to How to Jump-Start Your Car, Howcast provides the answer to any how-to question. Howcast engages consumers to watch and share free, useful how-to videos and guides produced in-house at Howcast Studios, as well as by innovative media partners, trusted brands, and individual contributors.

Howcast distributes this content across a growing network of Web, mobile, and cable partners, including such notable destinations as YouTube, MySpace, Hulu, AOL, Yahoo!, Comcast, Apple, TiVo, and Verizon.

In addition to the Howcast Studios, the Emerging Filmmakers Program offers up-and-coming filmmakers the chance to gain experience, exposure, and extra income by creating short how-to videos. The EFP has partnered with film and television programs at Boston University, Flashpoint Academy, and Charles Sturt University to expose students to Web-video production.