Mediacube.Inc is a 3-in-1: an IT company developing solutions for bloggers, a video content production studio and an official YouTube affiliate network. By the way, they, like us, are HTP residents.
4 years ago Mediacube won a tender for the role of a regional YouTube partner in Belarus. Having won the competition, the company became an MCN (Multi-Channel Network), i.e. one of the organizations providing financial and technical assistance in managing channels on video platforms. There are about 30 such representatives in the world.
From that moment Google has paid a certain amount of money once a month, which has been distributed among bloggers according to the data in the csv file, i.e. a tablet with 40-50 million lines. It should be processed so that all authors received information about the monetization of their channels. The file contained data for each blogger's video, e.g. how many views there were, what earnings are from each source of income. As a result, gigabytes of data, of which, in fact, it was necessary to determine how much money to pay the blogger.
At first, when there were not so many lines, employees coped “with the help of a calculator”, but then the company had to think about its own program, or rather a personal account.
What they wanted?
The original goal of the project was to automate the work performed by managers. It was not good to process tons of reports from Google manually. At the same time, they needed an account for bloggers, where all the statistics for the channel were displayed. After that, they needed payments automation. In some time, the client wanted to stop using third-party services that helped influencers register in the affiliate network, and decided to create the client's own cloud service.
All together it was supposed to turn into a system where statistical and financial information of users was collected, the functions of an "electronic wallet" were implemented. After we had automated the work of managers, we were given the task of making a system that would contain data about millions of channels in order to conduct their analytics, target advertising campaigns, and track "rising stars". A so-called mega-catalog of all YouTubers should have appeared with the ability to filter them according to different parameters and select in accordance with requests (audience, topic, geography, etc.)
Who did it?
The first task (creation of an account) was performed independently by one person, Vladilen. When it became clear that the project required a dedicated team, the following guys were gathered:
Nikita Tolkachev, tech lead, he set up the server architecture and thought over the overall project architecture. Egor Nedbailo, PM, he coordinated the team, supported the backlog, prioritized tasks, built the project roadmap.
«During this work we improved in working with a large amount of data (the size of only one table could reach up to 100 GB). We made a system that allowed us to deploy automatically on 640 machines and simultaneously process thousands of information streams»
Creation of a personal account and automation of processes took about three weeks. The next stage of development lasted about 3-4 months. After that, the first partners began to use the network, but development continued for 7-8 months. We worked on a task-by-task basis until Zubr Capital invested about 10,000,000 USD in the company.
Why is it cool for users?
We created a unique solution on the market for MCN that automates all processes in general. At that time (and even today) no one could boast of such tools. Russian, American, Canadian and other MCNs attract YouTubers to their networks through cool events, collect referrals to workshops. In a word, they work with them offline. Mediacube couldn't afford it either financially or geographically. That's why they embarked on the path of technological change. So users got not just a personal account, but a very functional one. A unique opportunity based on the product we created is offered to each segment. For instance:
Bloggers who are in an affiliate network. They receive online technical support, possibility of instant financial payments, access to statistics on all content of their channel and to various libraries, as well as tools for content protection and optimization.
Mediacube managers who work with current clients. They get automation of all work: parsing of Google reports, payments to bloggers, document flow. They can also promptly respond and provide technical support.
Mediacube managers who select bloggers for advertisers (influence marketing). They get access to analytics across 35 million channels with the ability to filter the best offers for advertisers, as well as a commission fee for helping with document flow with the stars.
Mediacube managers who hunt new bloggers, rising stars. Thanks to their own formula, they receive an automatic selection of the most “profitable” channels, the owners of which should be connected to their partner system. They also get the opportunity to grow a network of referrals around the world and have no need for offline meetings.
Why is it cool for the customer?
First, creation of a unique platform that can be infinitely filled with technological tools is an obvious competitive advantage, because not all worldwide MCNs provide such a service.
Second, in order to compete in the US market without a physical presence, one must either open offices in the US, host parties and workshops for influencers, or offer authors innovative solutions so that the author disconnects from the American MCN and connects to Mediacube.
Third, because investments in development were much more profitable than using third-party programs. One of the services that Mediacube used took 1% of all YouTube transfers. The amount of such transfers appears in one of the interviews, which is 1,000,000 USD, thus, the service received 10,000 USD.
What was used in the work?
We had to deal with huge amounts of data, so we got acquainted with Kubernetes to organize the server architecture (and have been using it constantly since then). We also made our own design system for the first time, the components of which could be reused between the project's subsystems.
Front-end: Vue and Nuxt – front-end stack, used to build interfaces and provide Server Side Rendering.
Back-end: PHP, Laravel – our main back-end stack, the most popular PHP framework at the moment.
Databases: PPostgreSQL, Redis, Clickhouse are used for reliable storage of basic data.
Server: Docker, Kubernetes allow to reduce the cost of maintaining the server infrastructure, building CI/CD processes.
Who will be interested?
Those who need to automate work with large amounts of data, finances and documents. Those who are tired of paying commission to third-party services. Those who are building various referral systems or want to sell access to their own marketing tools. And other MCNs that are not yet as technologically advanced as Mediacube. After all, now we are on board with YouTube API and know where to get what we need.
We are really very proud of the work we have done for Mediacube, because it is not often possible to build the basis for the future business of a company with a technological background. We not only created a cool working tool that allows you to make millions, but we also have thoroughly studied YouTube API and can implement more than one platform associated with this social network.
However, creating a similar product is no longer the ultimate dream, we want to set a higher goal and use our knowledge and skills so that another company that wants to build its business on IT and get a tool for operating with large amounts of data started making millions.