Check Out What's Filming At Howcast

Howcast tour

Of all the “next-generation video network”-type startups, one of the most promising is NYC-based Howcast, which was started by a group of ex-Googlers in 2007.

Howcast produces, aggregates, and commissions how-to videos, which it distributes all over the place, via web partners like YouTube, Hulu, and AOL; via television partners like Verizon Fios and AT&T U-Verse; and on mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Android.

The idea is that how-to video has a long shelf life, can be a natural answer to many search queries, and is “safe” for advertisers and brands like Home Depot, Ford, and GE to sponsor.

So far, Howcast owns about 5,000 videos — either made in-house or through its independent filmmaker program, has aggregated another 195,000 videos onto its platform, and is streaming 25 million videos per month across its entire distribution network.

Cofounder and CEO Jason Liebman wouldn’t comment on the company’s revenues, but tells us, “We have a fast-growing business and are moving towards profitability.”

What’s next? Howcast is working on some longer shows with YouTube, and is also working to build out its filmmaker program, where it assigns and pays indie producers to make videos for the site. It’s doing about 300 videos per month through that program, and is aiming to scale it to several thousand.

Our tour begins on the top floor of Howcast's office in Manhattan's SoHo neighbourhood. They just added this second floor.

Here's cofounder and CEO Jason Liebman showing off a Howcast sign from a wood-working video.

Here's the Howcast post-production department.

This is Katie Montgomery, post-production supervisor. She's showing us a video...

This is Nardeep Khurmi, a post-production specialist. And that whiteboard bubble over Nardeep's head?...

...That's the in-person version of his new Twitter account, @NarDeepThoughts.

Tape, rope, backdrops, and everything else you need to run a video production studio.

Jason Liebman shows us Howcast's new back porch.

That's Katy Zack, Howcast's head of communications, tending the tiki bar.

Let's head downstairs to Howcast's other floor.

Looks like we stumbled into a meeting. Here's (left-to-right) COO and cofounder Daniel Blackman, director of production Paul Leo, and senior producer Tom Bender.

Here's the main floor knocking out a few more hours on a summer Friday afternoon before taking off for the weekend.

The required office snacks...

David Horowitz, audio producer, is about to dig into his lunch.

But first we force David to model Howcast's soundproof voiceover booth for us.

Editorial assistant KC Ifeanyi has starred in several Quick Tip videos and writes for the How-To Video of the Day emails.

Senior Writer Rosemarie Lennon has written almost 1,000 scripts.

Here's the view from her desk, of busy Broadway.

Another giant A/C unit!

And that's it! Thanks, Jason!

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