Stand Alone Media was launched in 2010 in a bid to become the first digital video encyclopaedia and “create emotion through knowledge”. While the internet tends to show rather than explain, the SAM network culls and creates contents so that a whole host of ideas can reach out to the largest possible audience. Users sign up, indicate their areas of interest, and are then offered to stream different ad hoc channels, while being able to subscribe to other users’ threads. They can thus explore and learn in an independent way, on a “stand alone” basis.
SAM was created at the very time when “massive open online classes” (MOOC) emerged in the United States. SAM and MOOCs share a similar approach and audience: they are both directed to students, teachers and curious people at large, and aim at opening up new channels for the dissemination of knowledge. However, unlike MOOCs, SAM does not depend on any university and carefully selects the best clips in terms of both content and form, so that users can enjoy more than the random research that is typical of websites such as YouTube and Dailymotion.
In 2012, the website’s founders, French national auditor Nicolas Colin, entrepreneur Guillaume Tasseto, head of Sciences-Po business incubator Maxime Marzin and author Karim Amellal (also known for launching the Algerian online video platform chouf-chouf.com) announced they would run a fundraising campaign directed towards large investors in the digital sector.