Former CTO of Hulu Eric Feng has brought his startup Packagd out of stealth with the launch of Unboxed, a mobile video commerce platform for technology products.
Based on the phenomenon of unboxing videos—which Packagd said pull in about 10 billion global views per month—Unboxed will offer hosted shows aimed at selling.
"Our vision for Packagd has evolved over the last 10 years, inspired by how 'commerce as entertainment' helped traditional players like HSN and QVC build multibillion-dollar empires during the TV era," said Feng in a statement. "Using video to drive commerce is not a new concept, but Packagd has the opportunity to bring this user experience to a new generation of mobile consumers."
Unboxed will feature programming for products like smartphones, computers, gaming consoles, video games, cameras and drones. The app will use its network of content creator hosts as live video moderators for the shows. Online video personalities joining the network include Austin Evans, Dom Esposito, Chris Denker (DenkOps), Frank Passalacqua (randomfrankp), Kevin Nether (Kevin the Tech Ninja), Andru Edwards (Gear Live), Matt Schaefer (MS Tech) and Jervina Coston (TechMe0ut).
Importantly, Unboxed has enlisted Best Buy to allow users to purchase technology directly from the app while videos are streamed.
Unboxed is currently available for iOS devices.
While Unboxed’s attempt to update the QVC commerce model is just getting off the ground, another high-profile attempt at the same feat is being placed in the ground. Amazon recently pulled the plug on its first livestreamed show, “Style Code Live,” which sought to leverage a live, hosted show to push viewers toward buying products from Amazon’s massive e-commerce platform.
Amazon skipped traditional online video monetization plays like subscription fees and advertising, and instead relied on viewer-generated purchases, a strategy that appears not to have worked out.
But perhaps Unboxed will have better luck with it. The app’s launch company Packagd just announced a $6 million Series A investment round led by Forerunner Ventures and GV (formerly Google Ventures), bringing the company's total funding to $7.5 million following its initial seed round.