March 17 Wonder PL, a new video platform for
lifestyle content that launched on March 13, is taking direct
aim at YouTube and Vimeo while hoping to capitalize on the
soaring popularity of online video.
Backed by Universal Music Group, Qualcomm Ventures, former
Apple executive Pascal Cagni and a personal investment
by Vice Media President Andrew Creighton, Wonder features topics
from wellness to food to entertainment targeting women.
Wonder if differentiating itself from YouTube by targeting
professional content makers to use its platform for an annual
fee. YouTube is free to anyone who wants to upload a video.
"We want to be the Whole Foods of video," said Sofia
Fenichell, Wonder founder and CEO. "YouTube is Wal-Mart."
Wonder is going after brands and content creators such as
the National Film Board of China and chef Tom Aikens. Wonder
charges an annual fee of $300 for its members to use the
platform to upload video.
"We know everyone is going to produce more video," Fenichell
While more people are uploading and consuming video, it is a
crowded market. Google's YouTube, which is
ad-supported, has more than 1 billion unique users per month who
watch more than 6 billion hours of video.
IAC/Interactive Corp's Vimeo provides a platform
for professional users too. Anyone can post video to the Vimeo
platform for free but it charges up to $199 for more
comprehensive features like additional storage, support and the
ability to sell video on demand. (Vimeo takes a 10 percent cut.)
Vimeo has over 22 million registered members and reaches a
global monthly audience of about 150 million.
Fenichell said Wonder will depend on subscription revenue
for now but could eventually start providing opportunities for
sponsored content. People view videos on Wonder in an ad-free
"The industry currently trades a free or nominal membership
fee in exchange for taking very high platform commissions," she
"We believe this is an unsustainable model for creators who
need to generate value from their work."