Graspr muscles it way into how-to game

Bambi Francisco Roizen · August 22, 2008 · Short URL:

Adding an agency touch to find the next Rachel Ray

Graspr hopes to be the how-to video shop, with aspirations to cultivate next year's stars in instructional video. Grasper, which raised $2.5 million in venture funding, has 20,000 videos after having collected them through aggressive outreach for the past 18 months. 

Today, the site adds about 400 videos per week across 17 categories, such as home and garden, cooking, education and crafts. The videos are about three to four minutes long, and are typically part of a series of videos. For instance, this "How to Play Peanuts theme" is part of a series of videos.

 While the site is certainly useful, Teresa Philips, Graspr founder and CEO, knows that she's up against steep competition. (Watch Teresa's Lessons learned on getting the product out before rivals)

ExpertVillage has been around for some time and is the solid leader in aggregating video how-to content.

"How are you different from Expert Village?" I asked. 

"ExpertVillage, Videojug, Howcast – they’re focused on high-efficiency content," said Teresa. "They’re not concerned about people behind content and perspectives. We're helping video creators build businesses around their content." ExpertVillage and the other sites are "content repositories," she added. 

What Teresa is saying is that she wants Graspr to work more closely with the content producers to make them successful. In many ways, she's a bit of an agency -- seeking the top instructional video providers, and prepping them for stardom.

Part of getting her producers some exposure is through syndication. Graspr sources 2,000 sites, she said. Sites that have extensive text-based instructional content, like recipes, or forums, or rating systems are good syndication partners, she said. 

So, what's the model? Graspr shares 30% of advertising revenue with each party - video creator, publisher site, and Graspr. Additionally, Graspr has an affiliate program whereby 10% of the ads go to anyone who brings the video creator to Graspr.

We've seen companies in the past, like Revver, that tried to split the ad pie with all involved. Yet the model fell flat, partly because of the poor quality of the Revver UGC content, which turned many advertisers away. Teresa wants to raise the quality bar of the video, and make sure the content goes into "known" and respected vertical sites. 

There's nothing like learning from mistakes of the past. And, if you watch Teresa's pitch, I think you'll get the sense that she's pretty confident about where she's taking this company. 


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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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Graspr, Inc.


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Graspr is an online video community that offers high quality instructional content on a wide range of topics. Our mission is to make the world a smarter place by bringing together people who possess different kinds of expertise, and helping them share what they know with others. We want to make knowledge more accessible, and thus empower users to explore new interests, cultivate new skills, and become even more proficient in the subjects they know well.

Graspr offers a number of features designed to enhance learning, connect people, and facilitate the discovery process.


At Graspr, you can:

  • Find videos on specific topics that match your interests and skill level. Search by keyword, search by Producer, or browse our videos by category.
  • Control your viewing experience. With Graspr's 'Scene' feature, you can jump straight to the parts of a video that interest you most.
  • Take notes. Add your own notes to a video - and keep them private or share with the Graspr community.
  • Rate and comment on videos. Your input helps other users make informed choices about which videos are best suited to their needs.
  • Share videos. We make it easy to send videos to friends or embed them on other Web pages.
  • Control distribution. Choose to share your videos with the entire Graspr community, or just with your friends.
  • Connect with people who share your interests. You can chat with others who are viewing similar content and swap stories, share tips or seek advice.
  • Impart your wisdom. Have specialized knowledge of your own? We invite you to share it with the Graspr community by uploading your own instructional videos.

Teresa Phillips

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