Digital Dealmakers

Brad Inman, Founder, TurnHere

Brad Inman

The player: Brad Inman, founder of TurnHere, an online video production and distribution house.

The play: TurnHere is an Emeryville, Calif. -based firm that produces Web video for corporate clients and also has the technological infrastructure to publish and distribute those videos online. Businesses contract with TurnHere to produce Web videos. and TurnHere then commissions the work within its network of more than 3,200 filmmakers. TurnHere also provides digital training for its producers and filmmakers.

The pitch: TurnHere focuses on producing videos in the categories of book publishing, travel, hospitality, local businesses and real estate. “These videos are not brand spots. The videos are real people telling real stories about their companies produced by people who know how to make this mini-documentary,” Mr. Inman said.

In the mix: TurnHere customers include CondéNet, Discovery Networks, Chronicle Books, Williams-Sonoma, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Simon & Schuster. TurnHere has produced more than 100 short videos for Simon & Schuster profiling authors such as Jimmy Carter, Jeannette Walls and Stephen King. Most of those videos live on the site bookvideos.tv; TurnHere also syndicates them to Barnesandnoble.com. TurnHere also has worked with local online directories such as Yellow Pages and City Search to create videos on local businesses.

The backstory: Mr. Inman founded the company in June 2006. TurnHere raised $7.5 million in venture funding from Venrock and Hearst Interactive Media earlier this month and will use the money to build out online ordering and sales and marketing.

The money guys: “We make money on every video we make,” Mr. Inman said. “Someone pays us to make it and we get paid to help distribute the videos.” The videos are not ad-supported. Essentially, the videos are the ads.

The pros: TurnHere is one of only a few companies focused on producing videos for businesses. It’s also unique in that it’s not relying on ads to get paid.

The cons: Because TurnHere focuses on local businesses, there can be a learning curve for those who have never pursued Web video before. “Local businesses have never had access to TV-quality videos and advertising has always been done by national brands,” Mr. Inman said.

The numbers: TurnHere produces about 400 to 500 videos a month, 10 times what it produced a year ago. The company should be profitable this year.

Background: Mr. Inman was born and raised in Carlinville, Ill. He attended Boston University and studied sociology. He is the founder of Inman News, an online real estate trade publication, and lives in Berkeley, Calif. He has two children.

Who knew? He likes to drive his 1968 Ford pickup on weekends.

Videos produced by TurnHere:

Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle
Stephen King, Duma Key

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Comments (2)

TurnHere is a great concept. I believe the Videography business is about to blossom which means that there will be ample opportunities for everyone. Put on your thinking cap. I think in the next few years people will discover that video is appropriate for certain areas of the consumer market, right now it seems like everyone wants to use video for everything. I think the small business arena will benefit the most from video which is pretty much the thesis behind Jippidy.com

Larry Vaughn:

I've completed about 26 videos for Brad and TurnHere.com and want to say that have a great staff and an efficient way of creating videos for smart people. I look forward to working with them in 2009.

Happy New Year!

Larry Vaughn
Video Production
Gainesville, FL

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