By thesanfranciscoegotist / /
User generated content is literally everywhere these days. But how do you get the rights to that cat video/meme or find a dozen clips for your brand’s manifesto? Better yet, how do you get connected to authentic content producers who make this stuff day in and day out? Well, we talked to Analisa Goodin, the Founder & CEO of Catch&Release about it all.
Catch&Release started off in one direction and then changed as it grew. Tell us about that evolution.
In 2014, I founded Visual Catch, an image research company serving production shops. At the time, we were mostly curating the best stock we could find, but then the internet blew up. All of a sudden there were independent content creators sharing their work online — user-generated content. Back then, we were focused purely on the creative, and didn’t handle any clearances, licensing or payments, but its was clear our customers needed both. Thus, Catch&Release was born to do do it all — content curation, clearance, licensing, indemnification – all powered by Curation Intelligence™, our form of AI.
What fun stuff are you working on right now?
Right now, our technology is helping a major telecommunications brand completely rethink their production strategy, enabling them to scale their creative across offices, regions, campaigns. Rolling out our technology to a global brand to meet so many different organizational needs is a huge undertaking, but it’s rewarding to see how our technology is fundamentally changing how people do their work.
There’s now something like 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. How do you find any sort of useable content in that haystack?
Unlike other content libraries, we aren’t limited to a library of content we’ve collected over time. Our customers submit a detailed creative brief in the Content Exchange, which provides explicit creative direction and parameters to search against. We narrow down the pool of content further by only delivering shots for review that have a true path to clearance, which we determine using a proprietary, verified process. By doing the due diligence work up front, we can custom-curate a collection of relevant, likely-clearable content from all over the internet, delivering the best creative, while also saving our customers time and headache.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in the 4 years you’ve been in business?
How to set up a company for growth. Learning how to build, trust, and delegate to a team is one of the hardest thing for founders. The vision is in the mind of a founder, and it’s a learning process to translate it in such a way that’s actionable for others. Learning to let go and trust, while also constantly articulating the vision has been critical.
What are some of the more innovative ways brands are using UGC?
The first thing that typically comes to mind when we think “UGC” is a viral YouTube video that might be hilarious, but not necessarily high-quality. With every smartphone comes a more superior camera, enabling anyone that has one to make professional-grade content. Much of the UGC available on the internet is not only production-quality but also authentic – videos captured in great resolution with increasingly high emotional integrity. We are calling this “Found Content”. You would never know that many of the commercials you see on TV are stitched together from existing “Found” images or footage found from the internet. Furthermore, by automating the process of finding and licensing this type of content, we’re making it easier for brands to move faster by giving them creative freedom and flexibility to develop their scripts around the content, and evolve it as needed.
How has the rise of technology affected UGC output?
The internet is a treasure trove of content — it’s an endless, yet unlicensed, supply. Just because there is an overwhelming amount of content available, doesn’t mean clearance and licensing are less important. Advertisers can’t afford to put themselves or their clients at risk by using content that hasn’t been properly obtained, especially when technology like Catch&Release now makes the process elegant.
Where does UGC go from here? Because lots of people are making commercial grade content with mid-level pro-sumer equipment these days.
It is our mission to reinvent the way the world discovers and licenses content from the internet. We are super excited for the future of the production industry with this content at the ready. By connecting customers to the content they need, and supporting enthusiasts and amateurs alike through a commercial exchange, we see the future of this medium as a staple in how work will be made. We will continue to see more and more Found Content used in advertising, but it will look less and less like we expect it to.
Is there a typical type of agency or brand engagement you work with or is each one different?
Catch&Release was built for the advertising production industry. We work with traditional advertising agencies, digital agencies, as well as with brands directly; beyond advertising, we’ve worked with artists to license content to use as part of an exhibit or screening, so we can work across the spectrum. Whether you’re creating a Superbowl ad, an internal marketing asset, or using internet content as an alternative creative medium, proper clearance and licensing is always ideal.
Beyond your AI platform, how do you want to see Catch&Release grow?
We’re building our technology to create new opportunities for people that have never existed before. On the demand side, its the ability for advertisers to discover and license authentic content from real people; and on the supply side, a secure marketplace for content creators to sell their content and be fairly compensated for it.
Give 3 pieces of advice to our readers.
Surround yourself with perspectives that are different than your own. Convenience and comfortability don’t typically spur new ideas.
It’s easy to get caught up in what investors or clients want to hear. Don’t sacrifice the integrity of your work, even it means taking the road less-traveled.
Pursue and cultivate passions that are different than your everyday work. We should be in a constant state of learning.
Analisa Goodin is the Founder & CEO of Catch&Release (C&R), a venture-backed technology company that sources and licenses user-generated content (UGC) from the internet. Prior to founding C&R in 2014, Goodin was the founder and chief curator of Visual Catch, an image research company she established upon completing a Masters in Visual and Critical Studies from the California College of Arts in San Francisco.