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Online video service and Y Combinator graduate Justin.tv has announced the launch of a paid “Pro Account” today. The Pro Account costs $9.95 a month. Apparently many Justin.tv users wanted a way to not view ads when engaging with the videos on the site.
Here’s what the Pro Account includes (directly from Justin.tv):
- Advertising-free viewing of all video on Justin.tv!
- Five free gifts every month.
- Access to custom Pro chat colors.
- A special icon for your name in chat.
- Custom badges for your profile and channel pages, showing everyone that you’re a Pro!
I haven’t been to the Justin.tv site in a long time. Looking at the producer spotlight section, there seems to be a lot of skin (not nude that I see) showing! And shockingly you can watch every WWF PPV on the site it seems – even the upcoming ones say you can watch for free – wow.
So what’s going on over at Justin.tv? When Justin launched his tv network, the idea was that he slapped a camera on his head and filmed everything that he saw 24/7. Sleep, eat, dates, everything. It was an interesting perspective. Watch the world through the eyes of a person. Justine quickly jumped in and joined the action. I reviewed the network in March, and noted the following key points:
- Who the F cares? (I still say the same thing today)
- Is it really a live twitter?
- This is like a live Big Brother
- Archive (they have this now)
Last week I decided to take another look at the Justin.tv network. This idea came based on watching a few of Justine’s videos over the past month (including the ATT bill video) and noticing that fewer and fewer of them were about watching what her eyes see, but more about watching her. I knew she would eventually flip the camera around, at least partially. I am guessing her show will be (if it isn’t already) more popular than Justin himself.
Where did Justin go? He made it on the (real) tv shows earlier in the year, got some publicity and now he shows me a video of their office. So the live 24 hour feed has been reduced to a "once-in-a-while". He has signed the Naked Cowboy and while cool when live in Times Square, he’s just as boring to watch at home.
Now we are back to basically a Web 1.0 webcam view. Sure the technology has moved forward and we can watch someone sitting at a bar or at a McDonalds, but who really wants to watch this? Thiry-second clips are fun and quick but do I really want to sit in front of my computer chatting with other people about x person doing y thing? Oh no, Sam just ate a french fry, what’s next a burger?!?! B-O-R-I-N-G!
Just to be clear, I think live video shows could work very well. The Ustream interviews at TC9 were great. Two hours of different people taking 5-10 minutes to talk about their product or service. Live video from a conference: another winner. Basically I am suggesting is that purpose-driven shows work and are very powerful.
Now that the novelty has worn off, will Justin.tv remain a viable network? When the head of the network is currently (for hours now) streaming a "chair" – it’s time for help. Part of Justin.tv’s success will need to be in two methods: promotion and signings. He needs to sell the network to other livecasters as they can send traffic back to the overall network. But if he has given up the headcam just a couple of months into it, why should I be a part of the network?
Here is my bet: The name will change within the next six months – this ain’t Craigslist ya’all!