Mogulus.com was a video streaming platform that included several editing features that were unique at the time the site was established. It allowed users to mix multiple live cameras, imported video clips, and overlay graphics.
The website called itself "the most powerful live broadcast platform on the internet." Its headquarters were in New York, and the company had another office in Bangalore, India.
Over the years, Mogulus.com would become so popular that it claimed some impressive figures: over 85,000 signed-up producers, 120,000 channels launched, 5.8 million unique viewers each month, and over 400 million unique viewer minutes watched every month.
Anyone that tries to find Mogulus.com today will soon be asking a common question: What happened to Mogulus.com? This is the question that we set out to answer in this article.
The History of Mogulus.com
Mogulus.com was established in 2007 by four co-founders: Max Haot, Phil Worthington, Dayananda Nanjundappa, and Mark Kornfilt.
Haot, described in an archived page of Mogulus.com as "an expert in user-generated content, broadcast technologies, and workflow," became the company's chief executive officer. Worthington took the position of chief product officer, Nanjundappa became the chief technology officer, and Kornfilt, the chief architect.
Introducing Groundbreaking Innovations
When it was launched, Mogulus.com's ideas were groundbreaking. The service declared that with its simple and easy-to-use application, it was providing users with the "power to create live, original television programming, all done on their own global broadcasting channel."
The founders of Mogulus indicated that the service was established to end the era where "the production control room was one fixed location, and all collaborators in the process had to be in the same building."
The Mogulus founders didn't invent the technology that made it possible for remote cameras to communicate. However, they came up with a solution that allowed "the production team [to] be in locations scattered around the world, and still work together as if they were in the same room."
Mogulus predicted that "Million dollar equipment setups and 'brick and mortar' studios are a thing of the past." To users, the company made a bold promise: "Basically, we want to help you become the next media mogul."
The Hillary Clinton Boost
If anybody needed testimony that Mogulus was on a path to success, that evidence arrived in July 2008 when reports started surfacing, indicating that the company had received a new round of funding.
Reporting for the TechCrunch on July 28, 2008, Michael Arrington writes that "The size of the investment won't be disclosed, although we've heard from a source that it is in the $10 million range."
Arrington adds that what was more fascinating than the size of the investment was where the money was coming from: Gannett. Gannett is a media company that owns news and advertising websites, including USA Today.
It looks like the funding by Gannett was strategic. In a report published by CNet.com, Caroline McCarthy indicated that the two companies had already been collaborating before Gannett provided the funding.
McCarthy also reports that it was Mogulus that had carried a live-streamed interview by one of the Gannett newspapers when the US former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stirred controversy regarding the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy. Kennedy was murdered in California while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.
When other newspapers picked up on the Clinton remark, Mogulus was thrust into the spotlight. What had Clinton said, by the way?
Explaining why she was not permanently suspending her campaign against Barack Obama in 2008, she is quoted in the interview saying, "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right?" Adding, "We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it."
Following a backlash, Clinton later apologized for the Kennedy remarks.
Part of the Action at Obama Inauguration
When C-SPAN, the public service established by the American Cable Television Industry, debuted its inauguration hub on January 20, 2009, its multichannel grid was designed by Mogulus.
Reporting about the Mogulus-designed C-SPAN online "control room," Stephanie Condon of CNet.com writes, "Visitors will be able to choose from one of four live feeds featuring events like the swearing in at the Capitol, the parade, and a number of inaugural balls."
Rebranding to Livestream.com
In 2009, Mogulus.com rebranded to Livestream.com.
Reporting about the branding, MG Siegler of TechCrunch.com starts by saying, "When Mogulus launched in 2007, few people understood its name." Adding, "Most people still don't because, quite frankly, it doesn't make a lot of sense."
It's not just Siegler who thought the name Mogulus didn't make sense; Haot also arrived at the same conclusion. He is quoted in an interview saying, "I remember the naming process with the co-founders. It took probably a weekend." He adds, "Well, the criteria was to find something we thought was great, but it turned out that we were wrong."
The importance of having a name that makes sense can be seen in the amount Mogulus paid for the domain name Livestream.com: $100,000. By May 2009, visitors to Mogulus.com started being redirected to Livestream.com.
Haot says that even though people thought he was crazy to buy a domain name for $100,000, he believes it was the best marketing investment he has ever made.
Vimeo.com Acquires Livestream.com
"We're thrilled to announce that we will be joining the Vimeo team to continue our journey to innovate in the world of video and live storytelling," Livestream.com said in an undated message to visitors. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Vimeo.com released a press statement on September 26, 2017. In the statement, the company said, "Following completion of the acquisition, Livestream's offering will be integrated with Vimeo to empower creators to capture, edit, stream, and archive live events, as well as host, distribute and monetize videos, all in one seamless workflow."
Vimeo added that "The move into live streaming positions Vimeo as the most complete video solution in the market for businesses, organizations and professional creators."
What Then Happened to Mogulus.com?
When both the founders and commentators agree that a name doesn't make sense, you know that such a name will not last. The fact that the owners of Mogulus paid $100,000 for the new domain name, Livestream.com, indicates that they did not want to be associated with a domain called Mogulus.com anymore.
Haot's words, in an interview with Inc.com, sealed the fate of Mogulus.com. He said, "I don't wanna be the CEO of Mogulus anymore." Instead, "I want to be the CEO of a brand that is really impressing people and I think is right."