Rolik‘s website and app promises to provide a place for video creators to make money in the world’s first “video ad marketplace”. I’m a video creator myself, so I thought I’d give it a try. What I found was a rabbit hole filled with puppies, tigers, whipped cream and dark implications for content creators worldwide. Find out more below:
Rolik is a marketplace and editing platform rolled into one that aims at connecting video creators with companies in need of video advertisement. The flashy video above goes into more detail, but the basic premise is that you make a video, edit it in the Rolik app, add a voice over or music in their app and presto — you have a new commercial available for sale. Companies can then find your video and pay you to license it. Rolik takes a cut of the proceeds and everyone goes home happy.
Sounds great. Time to give it a try.
Signing up is easy. I entered my email, made a password and after an email quick confirmation step I was logged into the video ad marketplace. Immediately I noticed the logo in the upper left of the website is marked with the words “beta” – okay, work in progress. Got it.
I arrive at the full library of videos available on the site — there are about twenty — with pricing ranging from $400 to $2000. The pricing is a little shocking given the quality and the content available, and seems off the mark. For $2000 you can get a one man band operation to film at your property for half a day and make a higher quality product.
After browsing around through a few generic quick ad spots, I click on an image of a woman eating a strawberry — what follows is billed by Rolik as being perfect for an “erotic cake company”…
NSFW* Erotic Cake Company Ad Sample Available on Rolik: https://vimeo.com/189274413 NSFW*
The “erotic cake company” advertisement features whipped cream, sprinkles, no clothing and a puppy enjoying said whipped cream. Bold move on Rolik’s part, especially considering that the market for erotic cakes just can’t be a growth segment. Or can it? I move on and click on a video labelled “Dangerous Animals”.
The video features a tiger, amongst other animals, and is shot entirely at a zoo. It also features a child wearing aviator sunglasses looking at animals and other animals looking back at the small child. I’m not sure what this footage would be good at selling — perhaps zoo tickets? People might get upset though if you had a tiger in your video advertisement and your headline animal at your regional zoo is a panda.
I click on a button that says “Preview Packshot” and add in “cinema5D.com” as my brand name and I start the video again. Nothing has changed, but now after a shot of a house cat — strange because house cats don’t stay in the zoo normally — I am greeted with this text:
Cool. I think this will double our site traffic and it only costs $1,350 to license the video for my use.
Advertisements are expensive and difficult for small mom & pop operations to afford. Rolik is trying to cater a marketplace to those types of businesses, but currently they have a library filled with drone shots of woods, animals, fashion videos and people walking places. Everything just feels… bland. The service feels like it was created by software designers and not by advertising industry creatives.
The service also has negative implications for the video content industry as a whole — the very people Rolik is trying to cater to. Establishing the precedent with brands that a 15-30 second ad spot should cost $400 to license is dangerous and unrealistic. Not only is gear expensive enough, true talent is hard to come by and comes associated with a cost.
This is the age of YouTube and the words “content is king” are being thrown around a lot, even by me on occasion. But production value is expensive, and if you are willing to shell out the cash — well, it’s nearly always worth it.
Sign up to try the Rolik video ad marketplace HERE.