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.]