Farewell to Katch
It’s been an amazing ride, but it’s time to say goodbye. Katch will be shutting down on May 4th, 2016.
To our users — you have been incredible, inspiring, and supportive… which makes this post that much harder to write. It is with great disappointment that we’re announcing that Katch will be shutting down on May 4th, 2016. Sad Klyde!
What?! What happened?
We got very, very close to a big round of funding with amazing investors. But in the end, we were unable to secure the financial resources we needed to continue. With time dwindling in this uncertain funding environment, and an increasingly competitive live streaming market, we had to make a very tough decision. Despite last minute 11th hour efforts to save the company, we feel the most responsible course of action is to use our remaining resources to help you migrate your wonderful videos so you can have them for the long haul.
What’s going to happen to my stuff?
You are live streaming’s elite team. Mavens. Green berets. Super Creators. Corporate mega brands. You create content every day and we have been honored to host it. We wanted to host it forever, but we no longer can. So we’re going to do our best to provide ways for you to save your videos. We’ve created a migration tool that will export your videos to your YouTube account OR you can download the full archive of videos in .mp4 format to your hard drive. We thought a lot about how to do this right and we hope that this is the best, free, and permanent option for you.
There are a few caveats. We won’t have time to make this perfect and we apologize in advance if it doesn’t do everything you need it to. We can’t transfer the comments to YouTube (sorry 😞), but downloaded video archives will include comments in a text file. YouTube’s Content ID system may flag some of your video’s audio tracks. And a small percentage of your videos will not import properly with YouTube’s transcoding algorithms and they simply will not transfer. (Ironically, these are the same reasons we built Katch). So while our migration process isn’t perfect, the good news is that your archive doesn’t have to disappear forever if you don’t want it to.
The last 12 months have been an amazing ride. We embraced mobile live streaming early, launching only 3 weeks after Meerkat (when Periscope was still in private beta). Katch believed in permanent replays and we’ve gone on to pioneer multiple ways to organize post-live content — from search to collections to embeds and RSS.
Along the way, we found a rabid following among the top influencers, creators, and brands — in fact, we’re the most used hashtag by live streamers after #periscope.
It’s safe to say that Katch grew wildly beyond our humble expectations. It’s been so much fun to build Katch for and with you, to join your streams, to meet and become friends with so many of you in the community, and to help you promote your stories.
Wanna see what we built together? This is a screenshot of our Google Analytics dashboard since mid July 2015 when we launched the standalone version of Katch.
Wait. You’re doing so well — so why stop now?
It may be surprising that a seemingly successful product could fail, but it happens all the time (so much so, that we cribbed that line). The truth is, as a 5 person team, we’ve been punching above our weight class for the better part of a year. Each one of us has been juggling multiple roles and we poured 110% of our energy into building this product. We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished on such limited resources and we’re proud of what we’ve built, but we came to a point where a stark choice had to be made — grow or die.
We always saw Katch as a Hulu for live streaming. But if we were going to get there, we would need more resources (money, people, servers, time) that would enable us to move quickly to adapt to the increasingly competitive landscape and to mature the features for a wider group of users. We simply haven’t been able to secure the capital to do that.
Why not just add a premium tier?
That would make perfect sense, right? Well, when you have a venture-backed startup in the consumer space as we do, there’s a tension between growth and profitability. With a team as small as ours, taking the time to build out the revenue features for Katch would take away from building the growth features. When we got down to brass tacks, no matter how we ran the numbers, a premium version of Katch didn’t represent a venture-backed opportunity. Even more concerning, we felt we would simultaneously risk not covering our costs, not appealing to investors, and not being able to live up to our commitments to our paid users.
What happens next?
The front page of katch.me will have a detailed shutdown schedule and a link to our updated FAQ. We will stop katching all videos on April 22nd and Katch will completely shut down on May 4th.
So thank you, dear users. Some of you hail from our earliest days of katching Meerkats, and some of you joined us this week. We’ve never seen such a group of vibrant, passionate and supportive folks. We listened closely to your feature requests and we hope that we delivered. You drove our roadmap for the past 8 months. It’s been an honor to be a part of this community and we will miss you.
We would like to thank Ben, Niv and Product Hunt for being so supportive during our first week of life. Thanks to Kayvon who gave us the initial thumbs up when we floated the idea last May to #katch Periscopes. We would also like to thank our investors who came along for one crazy pivot, strapped in, and told us to go for it. And finally, we’d like to thank our friends, family, and partners who lost many nights and weekends to our obsession/product. It takes a village to raise a product. Even one that doesn’t make it.
– the Katch team.