World Star Hip Hop Creator Eyes the Facebook Blueprint to Expand his Site’s Reach –
Lee “Q” O’Denat, founded WorldStarHipHop.com nearly 10 years ago and the site remains in the top 500 of most-visited sites in the United States. However, according to Alexa, a web-traffic analytics site acquired by Amazon in 1999, WorldStar’s ranking has slipped almost 200 spots over the last three years.
YouTube and Facebook, the sites where the majority of WorldStar’s videos originate, steadily continue to grow while World Star Hip Hop has yet to break into the mainstream. For the last three years, the site was voted the top Urban Hip Hop Site by BET . However, sites like Gawker are posting the WorldStar’s niche “Cops”-style videos and Vice Media with its financial backing from 20th Century Fox has become the king of subversive, youth-oriented original video content.
“There’s no reason we shouldn’t be standing up with the Snapchats, the Vines,” Mr. O’Denat said. “We’re missing that piece to make a full picture. It’s all about finding the right team.”
Mr. O’Denat, a high school dropout, started his first digital venture, a pornographic site, in 1999. It failed. Mr. O’Denat now 43 has kept WorldStar lean, with 10 employees and five video posters who work remotely. He has continued to be reluctant to do what may be necessary to make WorldStar a site that equals other digital media platforms. Over the years, he has repeatedly declined offers to form partnerships, fearing a loss of control over WorldStar which he built without investors.
He is now looking at the “Facebook blueprint,” he said, in which he receives money from experienced investors in exchange for a small percentage of his company.
“If I had those type of investors in the beginning, WorldStar would be a half a billion company right now,” he said. “Call me crazy, but I just feel so passionate about it and don’t want to sell it short.”
Mr. O’Denat has teamed up with the media company Fullscreen to expand his site’s reach.
For more on this story, read the original New York Times article The Creator of WorldStarHipHop Plots His Second Act
Sourced from: New York Times