First, the news: VidAngel, a site that allows you to stream movies and watch YouTube without the bosoms, blood, or bad words, has raised $600,000 in seed from Alta Ventures and Kickstart. We’ve save the “controversial” stuff for later.
VidAngel is powered by a volunteer community of avid fans of family-friendly video. Think Wikipedia for family-friendly video filters. Members of the community tag potentially offensive swearing, sex and violence in movies, TV shows and YouTube videos. These tags allow viewers to filter what they see and hear based on their personal values and content preferences.
VidAngel is founded by the Harmon brothers, who are well known for creating the award winning YouTube sensation Girl’s Don’t Poop for Poo~Pourri (more than 27 million YouTube views) as well as co-founding Orabrush and Orapup, another award winning YouTube breakthrough.
Family Friendly YouTube Cuts
VidAngel will likely be interesting to Hollywood because it is expanding their market base here in the United States. “Hollywood is always trying to reach more viewers by cutting their films for different audiences,” explains Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel. “There is the Studio’s Final Cut for theaters. The Director’s Cut for the artists. The Airline and Broadcast Cut for the FCC. The Middle Eastern cut for Islam. The unrated cut for perverts. And fan cuts like people uploading just the sex scenes from Game of Thrones to YouTube. It seems like there is a cut for everyone. But one major group was missing, a Family Cut for streaming. That is why we created VidAngel.”
During VidAngel’s BETA testing, more than 7,000 families have subscribed to VidAngel to create their own cut of each movie for just their family. You choose exactly what you want to filter, meaning you can turn off just F-words, or just one nude scene, or any of thousands of configurations. “VidAngel is like a really powerful remote control,” explains Harmon, “you setup your remote before you start your movie and then enjoy the show without worrying about having to cover your kids’ eyes.”
50% of American Families Would Pick Friendlier Options
About one half of American families say they would prefer a more family friendly version of movies if they had the option. Even more surprising, nine out of ten movies rented on the VidAngel system would NOT have been watched without filtering. This means that 90 percent of VidAngel rentals are NEW business for Hollywood.
VidAngel’s approach to filtering is legal and explicitly protected by the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005. This law protects your right to remove “limited portions of audio or video content of a motion picture, during a performance in or transmitted to that household for private home viewing, from an authorized copy of the motion picture.”
So, check out the VidAngel community and try filtering your favorite movies, TV shows and YouTube videos for free on your desktop or laptop computer. Because VidAngel is using Google Play and YouTube, you can easily rent almost all new releases, including the new releases not available on Netflix.
Now, the Harmon brothers are well known for promoting new products like PooPourri, Orabrush and OraPup with videos that, shall we say, you can’t wait to discover, watch, and share. And their newest video promoting VidAngel is no exception
On Wednesday morning, VidAngel released a “controversial” video entitled, “This Poor Family Gets Shot with 3,192 Paintballs in 5.3 Seconds to Prove a Powerful Point.” As of Thursday evening, the video had 172,126 views.
And here’s another video entitled, “Behind the Scenes – Epic Swearing Paintball Video – VidAngel.com,” that tells the story of how the Harmon brothers shot that video and why they launched VidAngel. As of Thursday evening, this video had 7,923 views.
So, the paintball video is one of few videos that you can share on Facebook with your friends, parents, siblings, and colleagues. Heck, you can even share this “controversial” video with nuns, the elderly, and your uncle Steve. Hey, when was the last time you could do that?