Imagine if YouTube was stripped of all the wannabe’s, all the crappy singers and all the kids who’s parents don’t have the heart to tell them their voices sound like nails on a chalkboard. Imagine if YouTube actually showed the videos from up and coming stars that were truly talented. Well that’s the mission for Georgia startup FameTube.
FameTube’s founders Bryan Cornelius and Brad Buttimer hail from Atlanta and Savannah Georgia respectively. Both entrepreneurs love music, people, and media and bring great experience to the table.
Their new startup actually vets videos from people who claim to be artists and musicians and sometimes they don’t make the cut. Only those people who get past the FameTube team actually get their videos posted. As Cornelius explains in the interview below, once a video makes it onto FameTube artists are encouraged to drive traffic to the site. The community, outside of the artist and their friends and family are more inclined to check out the other artists and interact.
Check out our interview with this exciting startup from “everywhere else” here:
What is FameTube?
FameTube is a startup that helps artists who deserve fame get discovered absolutely free! We control what videos get uploaded to the site enabling the talented maximum exposure. Think YouTube minus the non-talented and ridiculous videos that go viral resulting in the true substance being overshadowed.
In layman’s terms, how does it work?
Artists submit their videos via our website. Submissions must be actual videos and are reviewed by the FameTube team. Videos that are accepted get uploaded to the homepage of FameTube within 48 hours. Once an artist’s video is posted, they’re notified via email. They are encouraged to have their friends and fans vote for them to receive even more exposure through our contest.
FameTube hosts a monthly contest. The top 10 videos with the most votes throughout the month are promoted around the clock on the homepage leaderboard. The top 10 videos going into the final 7 days of the month are dropped back on the homepage of FameTube for the duration of that month.
The #1 video each month earns a permanent spot on FameTube’s homepage for an entire year plus their own profile page that includes bio, pics and videos. The monthly winners also receive additional promoting through our social media channels (i.e., their pic as our Twitter background, tweets, etc.) including us reaching out to our contacts in the music industry.
Furthermore, hundreds of songs, beats and MP3’s are uploaded to FameTube’s Facebook fan page and SoundCloud by musicians monthly.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Bryan Cornelius, Co-Founder & CEO & Brad Buttimer, Co-Founder & VP of Marketing.
Bryan holds an executive level position in the hotel industry with over 12 years of managerial experience. He’s self taught on website building and SEO.
Brad is in the medical sales field with a college degree in marketing. He also has major contacts throughout the music industry
Where are you based?
Atlanta & Savannah, Georgia
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?
Being on the East Coast, the presence of startups is minimal compared to the West. I think that’s one thing unique about FameTube. We’re not techies and we’re about as far away in the U.S. you can get from Silicon Valley.
How did you come up with the idea for FameTube?
Artists like Justin Bieber and Sean Kingston were being discovered on sites like YouTube & MySpace even though that wasn’t the purpose of those websites. FameTube’s principle is to filter the highly talented artists in one place allowing record labels and talent scouts a go-to avenue at discovering the undiscovered.
How did you come up with the name?
The idea of the startup was thought up months before the website went live. We patiently waited for the right name to come along that would “pop”. Then, I stumbled upon the domain name FameTube for sale in an online auction, and it immediately caught my attention. The word “fame” is not only eye-catching but most people would like to have it as well. And the word “tube” is synonymously recognized as a video sharing community.
What problem does FameTube solve?
FameTube streamlines the discovering process of talented artists. There’s plenty of deserving musicians out there that just need the exposure. By offering a service that only features this, we’re essentially showcasing their talent under a spotlight for the entire world to see.
What’s your secret sauce?
Social Media! We’ve been able to grow our fan base to nearly 200k followers and fans in just 9 months with virtually zero dollars spent on advertising. Twitter is our main social media driver followed by Facebook and Instagram. Our fans love us because not only do we offer the services on our site, we also provide them with free exposure (retweets, FB shares, social media contests, etc.)
Also, once a video gets uploaded to our site, the traffic follows without us having to do anything because while the artist is campaiging for their video, they’re also spreading the word about FameTube. A lot of the videos featured on FameTube have 500+ FB likes, Tweets, Google+’s, etc. from their FameTube video page alone. This is especially beneficial for FameTube’s ranking in Google because of their recent algorithm updates to include social media signals.
What’s one dilemma you’ve encountered in the startup process?
Getting traffic to the website and building a brand from scratch. Then, convincing talented artsits to send their videos when we barely had any videos uploaded. We could upload the hundred or so videos we get a day to the site and generate a lot more visitors but that’s not FameTube’s objective. We want to be recognized as highly reputable as the talent that’s featured on the site.
Currently, only 5% of the videos submitted to FameTube actually get uploaded to the site. We want to remain very selective at the expense of less traffic but ultimately succeeding as the leader in the industry. If we uploaded everybodys video, we’d just be another YouTube spin-off.
What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?
Establishing a website that is filled with talented musicians deserving of an opportunity at fame. We’ve still got a long way to go but I’m confident that we’re on the right path to being the premier platform in this niche. In 9 months, FameTube has gone from a domain name collecting dust, to a site that generates thousands of visitors a day.
Who are some of your mentors and business role models?
Because I’ve been self taught, there isn’t really any mentors in the startup world to speak of. Steve Jobs has always been a fascination to me particularly after his passing and reading his autobiography. I do enjoy reading success startup articles and news.
What’s next for FameTube?
Continue to grow our brand, fan base and work on improving the website’s overall appeal. Being able to achieve what we have in less than a year is a positive indicator that FameTube has a bright future!
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