GuardYourPlace.com: MLM Comes to Video SurveillanceBy John Honovich, Published on Dec 25, 2009
With IP video expanding the use of video surveillance in the home, classic and controversial consumer marketing practices are arising, specifically Multi-Level Marketing.
A new entrant, GuardYourPlace.com [link no longer available], offers a simple managed video service using USB cameras connected to on-site PCs. Consumers pay a $19.95 activation fee and $19.95 per month to access live and recorded video via the public Internet (web pages or phones). The technology is simplistic and antiquated compared to many other managed/hosted video offerings.
It is the revenue sharing model of GuardYourPlace.com that is different. Consumers of GuardYourPlace.com can re-sell the services (using a website or directly to their family, friends, etc.). For each initial sign-up, they receive about $10 plus $5 per month. Moreover, in typical MLM fashion, consumers also are paid for new customers that their customers bring in. For background, see the initial sign-up plan [link no longer available] and the ongoing monthly plan [link no longer available]. The bottom line is with as little as 4 new sign ups, the service is free to the customer. With more, the customer can turn this into a small business.
Multi-level marketing is hotly debated and disrepected by many (including myself). While we do not see the long term value in this approach, it's logical to assume that more managed/hosted video providers will consider this approach as a 'low-cost' way to build their customer base.
[Update 2012: Their website is inactive and we suspect the company is out of business.]