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Building for the Future: How Pixieset Powered 10K Hours of User-Created Videos in Under 6 Months

banner for Pixieset
companyPixieset
productPlatform for modern photographers
locationVancouver
industrySoftware

For nearly 10 years now, Vancouver-based Pixieset has made beautiful digital products — galleries, websites, stores, and more — for modern photographers. When they started out, the mission was simple: equip and inspire everyone on the journey toward running their own photography business.

The mission is working, too. More than 700,000 professional photographers use Pixieset to make their business simpler, more professional, and more streamlined. Put simply, their products really do make life easier for photographers. And that means part of the work at Pixieset is to stay on top of what their users need.

Which is why when Pixieset’s customers expressed interest in video, they saw a huge opportunity. By expanding beyond photos, and incorporating media like videos that creatives use, they would be able to stay on top of the trends in their industry, keep users happy, and future-proof their business — all in one go. They needed a robust solution with expertise built in, one that they could control easily and scale quickly. Because if they got it right, it wouldn’t just improve their users’ experience — it would make their users’ clients happy as well.

Pixieset example of uploaded videos to a collection

Like a lot of companies, Pixieset realized they needed some help in nailing video. While they saw a lot of interest after launching embeddable video using common solutions like YouTube and Vimeo, it lacked the control and elegance they needed.

“We wanted it to be as easy as adding a photo and for the client viewing experience to be as beautiful as with the rest of the gallery,” Pixieset VP of Product Jeff Rambharack says. “We knew that a solution like Mux would allow us to focus on the experience in our product and bring our functionality to market quickly instead of having to build the video stack from the ground up.”

Only a few months in, Pixieset already uses Mux to handle all its uploaded videos — encoding, storage, viewing, and downloads. Rambharack was impressed with how quick and easy it was to get everything set up. Pixieset saved a lot of time and tedium, because their internal teams didn’t have to build up and manage a new video infrastructure themselves. As it turns out, when you free up small teams of smart people, keeping the drudgery away from them, they get to spend that time working on their passions — and that excitement comes through in the product.

Not to mention, the ROI has been stellar.

“Since launching in July, 10% of our users have already started uploading videos,” he says. “We’re now over 10,000 hours of videos on our platform, which is staggering for the amount of time it’s been available. And we’ve seen 5x embedding, proving that uploads provide a better experience and overall drive ROI.”

Moving videos to another set on Pixieset


Rambharack says that simplicity is key for Pixieset’s relationship with its customers. Everything has to be easy for the photographer and beautiful for the photographer’s clients. And he really appreciates how that modus operandi translates to video with Mux. From effortless uploads to a beautiful finished product, Mux and Pixieset have a lot of shared values, it turns out.

“What’s most interesting is seeing how we’ve empowered the creators on our platform and how they’re incorporating videos in creative and innovative ways,” Rambharack adds. “In the way that Pixieset changed how photos for key moments like weddings were delivered, we’re starting to see really incredible mixed media galleries that will help evolve how these moments are delivered.”

Simplicity and empowerment extend to the backend experience as well. Rambharack says his team found Mux’s API and docs super clear and accurate, which makes it easy for his small team to understand the work at hand and to build quickly. Which is important, because they’ve got a bunch of new customers to help now.

“Our audience has always been solely photographers,” he says. “But we’re starting to see videographers come onto our platform as well, and we’re getting a better understanding of their needs.”

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