Meet the Japanese company looking to change online video by crowdsourcing animation


See the original article in Japanese

Before reading on, please check out the clip above. The promotion videos introduced in that clip can be produced for less than 200,000 yen ($2000) each. How can it be done for such a low price? The answer lies in crowdsourcing.

On March 18th, Japanese startup PurpleCow launched a crowdsourcing service called Crevo, specializing in animated videos. Clients can choose a creator from the portfolio page and then order various video work, such as promotion videos for an app, or a YouTube ad with custom scenario and characters. In addition to matching clients and creators, Crevo is actively involved with the production process until the end of the project.

Pricing plans range from 180,000 yen ($1800) to 490,000 yen ($4900), depending on the length of the video (from 30 seconds to 80 seconds) and the copyright conditions [1]. Custom-made videos are also available for order.

According to PurpleCow CEO Kensuke Shibata, the startup has already built a network of about 4000 creators through another design crowdsourcing site Design Clue. About 200 of them have already registered for Crevo.

We previously reported on the video crowdsourcing service Viibar. What’s different about Crevo is that it focuses on animated videos.

Shibata: We focus on animation and do not create live-action videos. The process between the two differs a lot, and there’s a big difference when it comes to cost structure. For live-action videos, equipment rental can cost a lot, and so it is harder to make a profit.

Animated videos don’t require as many resources, so they fit the crowdsourcing model better. The type of videos Crevo creates will be mostly promotional videos or YouTube ads, as you can see from their website.

The production process starts with a client meeting, then it continues to rough drawing, character production, and then video production – getting feedback from the client along the way.

But how can they operate at competitive prices? If they make creators work for less than the market standard, surely they won’t be happy.


Here is how it works. Clients choose creators who creates the artwork, and then they also choose a narrator. And the art director that oversees the whole process of production is chosen by Crevo. Crevo staff manage the whole process. The key to streamlining lies in the process management. The greatest benefit of crowdsourcing is that it becomes possible to create a virtual workspace for a project and arrange resources efficiently by allowing the workers to utilize available time for appropriate pay.

While there are limits to streamlining the production process, there is room to make process management more efficient, as we reported when we discussed Mugenup, another anime-focused crowdsourcing site. Crevo says they are also developing a tool for process management.

Although the startup has been struggling with Design Clue in the area of logo design, Shibata tells us that they have accumulated experience and knowledge to manage designers online. As I took a look at some of these demo videos, it’s easy to be impressed by the quality. Since their products are limited to only animation videos, the size of the market might be a challenge. All the same, I think there is much for this service.

  1. The more expensive plan gives clients copyright of the work.  ↩