Stand down, Facebook and MySpace — Lockerz’ mission is to eat your lunch and have the cool kids sit at its table. With a goal of worldwide domination — which these days, means being the digital homepage of teens — the Seattle-based Lockerz is a social network with a twist.
Offering a blend of content, community and commerce, participation reaps tangible rewards in the form of points that can be redeemed for purchases and discounts. After watching a video, PTZ (points) can be redeemed for up to 100% on hot brands in the Lockerz SHOP. Non-members are informed how many PTZ they earned watching that video, and are then invited to join.
Its two revenue streams: advertising and selling real (not virtual) goods. To boost engagement, time spent on the site and the user experience, Lockerz also offers its members original content, and is already seeing success from its scripted programming.
Launched as a members-only social commerce website and counting 18 million members in 135 countries, the site just debuted an original indie music-themed web series, The Homes, starring Chelsea Kane. It reached 1 million views in the Lockerz community in less than a week.
Generation Z, which follows ‘X’ and ‘Y,’ is defined as kids 19 and younger, born between 1992 and today. More than 300 million videos have been served to date on Lockerz including their first original web series, Kill Spin, and now, The Homes.
In a blend perfected for its audience, Lockerz’ e-commerce experience borrows from FarmVille and Facebook. Three main features include:
Earn points: Members can earn what Lockerz calls “PTZ” in a dozen different ways - watching videos, discovering new clothes, electronics and other goods. Users can help friends earn points by clicking on content and items accumulated on their page, similar to gift-giving in Farmville.
Redeem Points: PTZ are redeemed by participating in an auction for a chance to win a prize. Prizes include videos, Xbox games and PayPal gift certificates. Points can also be redeemed for a full discount on items in-store.
Decalz: Virtual goods, aka “decalz,” can be bought for $1 each, as placeholders for desired items - a Dakine backpack or a G-Shock watch. Friends earn friends PTZ by clicking on those items.
The Seattle-based, three-year-old startup was founded by former technology and retail digital/marketing executive Kathy Savitt and is backed by Liberty Media Corporation and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to the tune of $30 million.
Savitt has helped launch 100 start-ups and worked for Amazon as VP of Strategic Communications, Content and Initiatives and American Eagle where on her watch the website revenue grew from $100 million annually to $250 million. She saw there was no company focused on Gen Z, telling AllThingsD that “We were heading towards a global emergency.”
Lockerz just made their 3,000 videos accessible to non-members. "The early success of The Homes inspired us to make Lockerz' video content discoverable and sharable by non-members and members alike," says Savitt. "The question then becomes, why not be rewarded for watching? We are making it trivially easy for non-members to join and start earning PTZ immediately.”
Savitt is confident that Lockerz’ elixir matches the peripatetic digital ethos of Gen Z – a cacophony of simultaneous social and e-commerce dynamics and hip, slick video content. Hear more from her below on what makes Gen Z so powerful and why brands are terrified: