© Submitted photo
Andrew Murray, left, with his mentor, Paul Lypaczewski, who says Murray's business Spotful has huge potential and that it could be revolutionary.
Andrew Murray of Charlottetown has created a storytelling tool that has gotten the attention of Facebook, Twitter and Shopify, to name a few.
Murray, who is the single founder of the website Spotful, has taken all web functionalities and has made them possible inside a video frame.
A person can now actively explore content and perform functions inside a video the way a they used to only be able to do on a website.
"The video becomes as powerful as your entire web presence," said Murray.
For example, say you are watching a video of a performance. At different points throughout the video, a subtle small circle will appear within the window of the video.
If you click on that circle, a text will appear with a bio on the performer while the video continues to play. Another circle may appear further along with the artist's tour dates.
The creator essentially can put whatever they want like their Twitter account, Facebook page or even Google Maps into the video.
"In this paradigm, now all of those functions can go viral with a video."
Murray officially launched Spotful three months ago and already has hundreds users.
Murray says his biggest competitors are media and advertising agencies. But the videos they create typically take eight months to build and half a million dollars, said Murray.
"Those guys have to build those interactive videos from scratch," said Murray.
Spotful allows a person to do the exact same thing in about 15-35 minutes — and for free.
"A person can build these types of immersive experiences without writing any code at all."
Murray has so far 20 apps on Spotful with about 60 in the pipeline, he said.
He even has a development portal, which allows people to build their own apps within Spotful.
Murray studied neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Halifax and ventured into artificial intelligence and started to learn about coding.
Doing that allowed him to think in a way of what it actually meant to create an idea.
"When you are imagining an idea, it's really important to be able to say, ‘Is this possible? How would you actually build this?'. . . Not just, ‘Oh this would be cool'."
Murray came up with idea originally for an art gallery. He wanted to create something that didn't take away from the feel of walking through a gallery, yet at the same time put it on a world stage.
"That is what is huge about Spotful on a global stage," said Murray. "We have one of the best storytelling tools in the world and it happens to be able to sell product directly."
Something Murray has learned is that behind every video, there is a media plan behind it.
"No one invests or builds a video and puts it online for no reason. Every video that goes out is built to drive traffic to a Facebook page or website."
What Spotful has been able to do is take all those goals that are written out in the clients' media plan and build them directly into the video.
"There is no leap, jump or referral anymore. We can take that checkout or that media goal and build it directly into the media itself and allow it to travel the web and that changes everything."
Hitting the spot
Andrew Murray started the site in Charlottetown but has since grown to have offices in Halifax and Montreal.
Murray worked on Spotful for more than a year.
Paul Lypaczewski, ITAP's executive director, mentored Murray for 10 months and liked what he was doing so much that he became his first investor and is now the chairman of Spotful.
For more information or to see how Spotful works, visit www.bespotful.com