The player: Marc Ostrick, CEO and co-founder of eGuiders.com, an online video guide.
The play: eGuiders relies on Web “tastemakers” to guide people to the best of online video programming. The site includes video guides, categories of video, links and playlists to a range of Web programming, such as viral videos, original Web series and network shows online. “A lot of times it’s hard for people to find this stuff online, so we are the guide for all the network shows and what they are doing, as well as other content,” Mr. Ostrick said. The site is ad-supported and Mr. Ostrick also is striking deals with syndicators to carry its listings.
The pitch: Mr. Ostrick said the competitive differentiator for eGuiders.com lies in the editorial picks. “It’s sort of like the staff picks on the DVD store,” he said. Some of the “tastemakers” on the site include actor Jerry Stiller, TV producer Damon Lindelof, NPR’s Margo Adler and Alex Albrecht of Web show “Diggnation.” “Think of us as the arbiters of quality video content on the Web,” he said.
In the mix: eGuiders competes with a range of online guides, including Tilzy.tv, TubeFilter.tv, TVGuide.com and OVGuide.com. The site launched Feb. 17 and earned about 130,000 unique visitors in its first month. When eGuiders.com reaches 500,000 unique visitors, Mr. Ostrick will start pitching advertising opportunities, he said.
The money guys: The company has raised $250,000 in private equity and has three employees.
The pros: As the number of videos viewed online each month swells past 14 billion, consumers increasingly are looking to editorial directories for guidance on what to watch. “There is a plethora of great content out there that hasn’t been found yet and given the attention it deserves,” he said.
The cons: The company’s biggest challenges are growing an audience and winning ad dollars during the recession.
Background: Prior to eGuiders, Mr. Ostrick worked as a TV producer and documentary filmmaker. He also worked as a new-media producer at HBO. He graduated from New York University. Mr. Ostrick’s eGuiders.com co-founder is Evangeline Morphos, a professor at Columbia School of the Arts and also a television producer.
Editor’s note: Daisy Whitney contributes playlists to Eguiders.com.