African Short Film VoD platform comes to life in record time! Thanks to TechCabal Radar


#1

Two months ago, I stumbled upon a post here radar.techcabal.com/t/i-need-a-content-platform-for-vod-anyone/3757/6 as I was personally looking for information on the path to take in bringing an idea I have had for over a year to life. Fortunately, I noticed a particular guy giving out comprehensive contribution on the topic being discussed and in-between the lines, I read a line giving me the strong feeling that this might just be the guy I have been looking for!

I sent him a message immediately and we exchanged contacts. We got in touch that same evening and after our usual introductions, we went straight to discussing my idea and how his product can be of value to me. He was working on a platform that can enable you build a VoD platform without any programming skills called Vindie.

John Eke and I went straight to work on a collaborative scale and for 2 straight months, we spoke every day, polishing and shaping the vision to life. We are both co-founders with me taking up the CEO position in-charge of getting the content rights from filmmakers as well as other management duties and him the CTO taking care of the simple and unique design of the platform as well as other tech related issues. Today, we are more than proud that Hubrif is alive for its open beta phase!

I hold this portal in high esteem and without it, I might probably have not gotten to bring this idea to life now. Radar brought two humans together who have similar passion and today, we are not just co-founders of a tech startup but also best of friends.

The journey started here and we wanted to make sure we break the news here first. Please feel free to visit Africa’s first fully dedicated platform showcasing African short films www.hubrif.com.

We look forward to any comments or feedback you might have.


Hubrif: We are not dead yet, but we are in a state of coma
...and finally, its time to go home
#2

Invoice is in the post…as per introduction fees concern,lol!

But seriously good work over a short period time. I tried viewing the videos on my phone but keep getting below error. Any ideas why?


#3

Hi @PapaOlabode,

Thanks for pointing out the issue. Apparently Google Chrome on iOS is a very special version Google Chrome. It doesn’t like webm videos - which is a Google proprietary codec.

The issue is resolved now, please retry watching the video soon as you get the chance :slightly_smiling:

Thanks again for pointing out the issue! And we wld love to hear any further comments/feedback!


#4

So it’s worked fine now! The videos are actually addictive and because they’re short, I’ve just ended up watching quite a few. My favourites are Boomerang and Otito. I also liked Audition.

With that out of the way, the following are my first impressions:

  • Your search bar is currently redundant - literally just hanging on top, almost invisible and of no use.
  • Are you aware there’s no actual CTA on your homepage? And instead of just going with just H1 header, some more text to provide more info of what Hubriff does will good.
  • The videos are inherently short so more thought should be given on how to serve the next video. Currently a user needs to always go back to the homepage to click on the next movie.
  • The top sliders are almost invincible (after the search bar), and not adding any value i.e not properly utilised.
  • Appears to be no real attempt at categorization or curation. While of course this is indeed early days,however for video as you know, content is king. So this is key.

In all, good job and impressive output over a short space of time.


#6

Lmao. But that Boomerang movie plot get as e be though


#7

Nice work. Welldone. I’ve wanted something like this for a while. For design inspiration, see http://votd.tv/


#8

Directors should look at that website for plot inspiration as well.


#9

+1 for that. It will be nice to have a section for Director’s cut. That way the site starts to have content that is not available any where else


#10

Lol, didn’t you get suspended in the suspense!

Overall I like the videos, they might not all appeal to everyone but I can imagined them been shared widely. They’re short clips content which is great for our attention deficit society.

But the website currently doesn’t work for me at all. Which is a shame because no matter how good the videos are, if people can’t find them, it’s wasted.


#11

@PapaOlabode thanks for the detailed feedback! When you play a video, there are actually other video recommendations at the bottom of the page. However my guess is that the UX on that page needs some massaging cos it should have been obvious to you. We’ll get on your suggestions asap and hopefully crank out another release within a week.

@FatherMerry thanks for the link to votd.tv!


#12

This is awesome. Just watched a few with my dodgy internet connection and there were no breaks at all. Is it necessary though to sign in to like a video?


#13

Really impressed with this. “African” shorts is a niche and I believe undeserved market. Well done.
And it’s so cute that y’all met here. :slightly_smiling:


#14

Glad youre loving hubrif! To be honest we also dont like that people have to sign in to like. It creates a door-slam effect to the whole experience. However if you look around most vod platforms require this and there is a subtle technical reason behind it. Loging in is the only way to tie a person to a like. Without it, its possible for you to like a film 200 times. Because we cant tell that youve liked it in the past. Also without login anyone can write a bot to post 1,000,000 likes to every film on the platform since no identity is required for that action. Even more concerning, anyone can post 1,000,000 dislikes to any video on the platform. This would seriously damage the credibility of the platform and skew our recommendation algorithms.
However with the login, after you like once, we are able to not count subsequent likes to the same film. This maintains the fidelity of our platform.

We have experimented with other semantics in the past that dont force people to sign in, but I have not yet come across one that is infallible yet not tacky/hacky. If any devs on here have any ideas, please sound then out :slight_smile:


#15

Thanks for your kind words @Sherrytums :slight_smile:


#16

Fair enough. Maybe you could introduce a social login option so users do not have to deal with yet another set of login details?


#17

This is true. Currently working on Facebook, and Google login, but we’ll add more as required.

Great feedback!


#18

Awesome. Well done!


#19

@fathermerry, Now you’ve got what you have always wanted. We hope hubrif will be able to do much more in the long run. thanks alot for the comment and the design link.


#20

@sherrytums. thanks alot for the comment. and yes! African shorts is an underserved niche born out of my own experience as a filmmaker myself. We hope hubrif will be able to achieve its vision and much more. thanks again pal


#21

@foggy, we are happy that you were able to enjoy uninterrupted streaming despite our broadband issues. we know that this is a major problem and if hubrif will survive, then we have to find a way solving this streaming problem. am glad that our test solution worked fine for you. lets hope more visitors will be able to enjoy seamless streaming as u did. thanks for the comment pal. really appreciate you checking it out


1 year after hubrif was born. My experience so far as a startup co-founder