ATLANTA - April 12, 2007 - HowStuffWorks, Inc. (HowStuffWorks.com) today announced the close of its most recent round of funding, injecting a total of $75 million into the company for growth and refinancing purposes. The growth capital will expedite the continued integration of high-quality content into HowStuffWorks.com's already comprehensive library of easy-to-understand explanations of how the world around us works along with unbiased, expert reviews. Investors included Capital Research & Management and Chilton Investment Company. Allen & Company LLC acted as placement agent for the round.
Also today, the company announced the upcoming launch of a new platform to enable organizations to upload informational and instructional videos into specific HowStuffWorks.com articles. The uploading process requires contributors to tag and title their videos to ensure that they will always be associated with the most contextually relevant pieces of HowStuffWorks.com content. More than 1,000 videos from leading organizations, including Sony Electronics, Monsanto, Georgia Tech Research Institute, National Science Foundation and NASA, have already uploaded in anticipation of the launch.
In addition to giving organizations the means to distribute their videos to millions of targeted and already engaged information-seekers around the world, the platform will help users of all ages learn more about a vast number of topics through high-quality videos provided by trusted, credible sources. This free, easy-to-use, searchable technology has been scaled across thousands of HowStuffWorks.com's explanation articles spanning auto, technology, health, travel, home and other general interest categories. The video platform will be integrated into the expert review sites owned by HowStuffWorks, Inc., including ConsumerGuide.com® and MobilTravelGuide.com®. Brands such as Hitachi and SavoryCities.com have already uploaded their videos to the sites.
Some examples of how videos will be integrated with related "evergreen" as well as topical, newsworthy content on HowStuffWorks.com include:
- In a helpful piece for technology lovers as well as "technophobes," Dell product experts demonstrate how to set up a wireless router in an easy-to-understand instructional video. In the video, they caution users about the impact a WiFi network may have on computer memory, a subject explained in detail in the related HowStuffWorks.com "How Computer Memory Works" article.
- After reading the popular HowStuffWorks.com article on "How Turbine Engines Work," users can learn even more about the evolution of this technology and the aeronautics industry in an insightful video piece produced and uploaded by General Electric.
- In the wake of the earthquakes that devastated parts of Indonesia, a timely Reuters video reporting on local rescue efforts accompanies HowStuffWorks.com's comprehensive explanation "How Earthquakes Work."
- Through an exclusive partnership with instructional "how-to" video provider TotalVid, HowStuffWorks.com now has over 200 instructional videos ranging from "How to Play Guitar" and "How to Play Poker" to "How to Prepare for a Tornado." Each of these videos will also accompany the relevant articles.
A recent Jupiter Research study stated "...a video should assume that some explanation and context is provided by the surrounding story."* Jeff Arnold, Chairman and CEO of HowStuffWorks.com, says "HowStuffWorks' strength is providing that objective explanation and context. The quantity and quality of videos that will be featured on our site clearly indicates that more than just the investment community is excited about what we are doing. The world's most well-known and respected brands, news services, universities and nonprofit organizations see the unique value in it, too. I encourage all organizations to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity for instant exposure and increased visibility."
The breadth and depth of HowStuffWorks.com's content library means that organizations of all kinds will be able to find articles relevant to their informational videos and can use the platform as a supplement to their more traditional branding efforts.
"HowStuffWorks has created more than the 'YouTube for brands'," said Stephen Andrews, Vice President of Ketchum Public Relations' Technology Practice. "They offer marketers two critical pieces of value that are difficult to find either on- or offline: contextual, credible and objective content to enhance their videos and a highly targeted, engaged consumer."
The branded videos will live in a specially designated area within a HowStuffWorks.com article and in the site's new Video Center. They are free for organizations to upload as well as free for users to view. Those interested in uploading their videos should visit HowStuffWorks and click on the "Featured Videos" link.
HowStuffWorks.com's searchable video platform eliminates frustration for Internet users wanting to locate informational and how-to videos on the Web. Since the platform requires organizations to upload their own videos and link them specifically to related HowStuffWorks.com articles, users are much more likely to find videos of value to them in less time than if they had used a traditional Internet search engine.
* Source: Jupiter Research - Video News Online, Maximizing the Audience, January 2007
Ken Sunshine Consultants