Victorious Launches Its First Fan-Engagement Apps for Digital Stars

Victorious - Ryan Higa

Victorious, the L.A.-based startup promising to let YouTube stars and other digital-media creators deliver apps cater to their biggest fans — and make money from them — has unveiled its first wave of partners.

The first two apps on the Victorious platform are from YouTube comedian Ryan Higa (pictured above) and YouTube news-commentary channel the Young Turks.

In the startup’s model, each app is owned and operated by the creator. Victorious provides tools to deliver content, “micro-social” networks within the apps and e-commerce capabilities to sell digital content.

“Superfans drive the majority of engagement in the digital-video ecosystem, but are underserved by existing platforms,” Victorious CEO Sam Rogoway said.

According to Victorious, it has agreements with digital creators and media companies that represent in total more than 250 million fans and more than 40 billion annual views.

Victorious said its partners include multichannel networks Machinima and AwesomenessTV, filmmaker Freddie Wong, Vine creator DeStorm Power, Jukin Media, as well as YouTube stars and channels like Michelle Phan, Jenna Marbles, Lilly Singh, Boyce Avenue, Joey Graceffa, Lia Marie Johnson, Meghan Rienks, Geek & Sundry, GloZell, Kurt Hugo Schneider, Strawburry17, GLAMSS, DigiTour Media, EleventhGorgeous, Peter Hollens and Cartoon Hangover.

Victorious also has been in talks with TV and film studios about potential partnerships, with deals slated to be announced later this summer, according to chief creative officer Bing Chen.

Under Victorious’ terms, partners will receive a share of revenue generated from advertising and purchases made in the apps. Creators will receive 70% share if they have at least 500,000 subscribers on major platforms like YouTube or Twitter; those under that threshold will receive a 60% split.

“We want to be a creator-first and fan-driven company,” Chen said. “Every single feature you will see came from the mouth of a creative partner.”

Ryan Higa, whose nigahiga YouTube channel has 14.2 million subscribers, on Thursday released his Victorious-powered TeeHee app. The app includes previously unreleased video and mashups, a new exclusive game, new interactive shows and live chats. It’s also designed to let fans share their own comedic content.

“I’m super excited to finally have my own app where I can build a personal relationship with my lamps (my fans)!” Higa said in a statement. “I’ve always wanted to connect with my viewers, but there’s only so much you can do through commenting and tweets.”

Founded in 2013, Victorious has raised $25 million in funding from investors including Kleiner Perkins, Redpoint Ventures, Lowercase Capital, Interwest Partners, Canaan Partners, Advancit Capital, Karlin Ventures, BDMI, Mucker Capital, United Talent Agency, WME and A-Grade. The company, based in Santa Monica, has about 50 employees, most of whom are engineers.

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