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A year ago I reviewed the first episode of NBC tech drama Chuck. Overall the writers have done an excellent job in bringing in geek technology without making it appear fake. From dropping a wikipedia here and a router there, it’s a fun little show.
However in this week’s episode, a comment was made by Chuck’s sidekick Morgan that clearly had me wondering. I’ve embedded the clip below (30 seconds). Morgan (and clearly NBC as the creator of the show) didn’t get the memo from Diggnation founder Kevin Rose. You see Diggnation is sponsored by the Zune, the Microsoft music player. If Kevin and Revision3 are taking the $$ from Microsoft for the Zune, you know that it is a damn fine quality product and should not be joked with. Let’s hope that next week Chuck will check the current lineup of sponsors for Diggnation and properly handle them if the need arises inside of the episode.
As I create more videos and have more discussions with online video talent, the conversation seems to move many times to finding the optimum hosting and distribution structure for video. I want to make sure my viewers never hit a dead end and can easily find other videos to view from the series. Since at least half of my videos are business-oriented, the idea of putting them on YouTube and hoping for the "viral effect" is not attractive. Earlier this year I wrote about the online video market here in NYC and I see it continuing to expand today.
Currently I am using Viddler almost exclusively for my videos. I like Viddler because their player allows for in-stream commenting and their upload function is easy-to-use. I find the uploading function on YouTube to be absolute crap, can’t they even offer an upload status bar?!? For the purposes of this discussion, we will only discuss pre-recorded video content and not live services (Mogulus, Ustream) or mobile video streaming (Kyte, Qik, Flixwagon).
I get the idea behind services like TubeMogul which put your content everywhere and I will probably look at doing this as well. But it’s critical from my standpoint that you select a video sharing/hosting partner to work with in which you can build your video brand. This means that the player that’s used on the video creator’s site remain consistent over time. Some video content creators are being paid to use services and I see this trend continuing as the video creation market expands and hosting networks fight to get out of the commodity business.
There are a number of indie video stars on the scene today. I’ve selected Justine and Gary Vaynerchuk to use as examples with regards to how they use various video hosting networks for their videos and shows. When I check out Justine’s Web site, she seems to use YouTube as her first choice and it’s clear that this strategy has helped her with growing her brand. Justine has over 18,000 subscribers on YouTube. These subscribers drive massive views to her videos. She uses Viddler as well for some videos and all of her videos are distributed there as well. Gary Vaynerchuk at WineLibraryTV uses Viddler for the main player on the site. Gary also has a distribution deal with Revision3 which publishes a shorter wine show on Revision3 and other video hosting providers including YouTube.
There are more options than ever for video hosting – from the most basic YouTube through working with distribution partners like ForYourImagination who can produce, record and package the shows. Viddler, Vimeo, Veoh all sit in the middle and I’d consider blip.tv a "show" distributor.
Below is the setup I have been considering for the videos I create on CN. My goal is to find the best combination of:
- reaching the largest audience
- using the best technology
- using a player with good usability for the viewer
- outside distribution to as many sources as possible
- tracking and analytics
- ability to monetize the videos over time — either with cpm views or finding a sponsor
These are videos I shoot of product demos and also include our interviews like the one we shot with Dina Kaplan last week. I am looking at using blip.tv for these videos. blip.tv can offer me a gallery player to allow viewers to watch any video they like. blip.tv also has an advertising network and also works with shows to find sponsors. This is very attractive to me – especially in the beginning. blip.tv will also distribute the shows to iTunes which could work relatively well for creating loyal viewers.
These videos include the Twitter Song and How to Effectively Quit Blogging. I see continuing to post these videos on Viddler because the interactivity and community there is a perfect fit for these videos.
I’d love some feedback on my thoughts and suggested video network usage for CN. What am I missing in creating the right mix? The next mission is to get a better video setup and move away from my tiny Canon Elph to something a bit more professional.
Editor’s note: I am not paid (nor have I been) for using any video service to-date.
Revision3 is announcing this morning that they have signed Gary Vaynerchuk and his hit show Wine Library TV. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Revision3 will also begin to create a shorter version of Gary’s shows as the current show typically runs 20+ minutes. The new show is called Wine Library Reserve which is a 5-minute version.
Anyone who knows Gary knew this deal was coming. Why? Simple. Gary is always with the Digg fellas and seems to be a normal fixture around the Revision3 gang. Gary’s current star power with the young set nearly matches that of Digg founder Kevin Rose.
What does this mean for video sharing service Viddler? They had been hosting the Wine Library TV show and were the video choice on the actual Wine Library TV Web site. Viddler announced last month that they are a distribution point for Revision3′s shows so perhaps nothing will change.
Video hosting service Viddler is announcing they have reached terms on an agreement to carry all of the Revision3 shows on Viddler’s network. I am not exactly sure which side of the table this benefits more but I am guessing it’s Viddler. If you are a fan of any of the Revision3 shows: GigaOm Show, Tekzilla, Kevin and Pal sit on a couch and drink beer for money or PixelPerfect, once you friend the show on Viddler, you will be instantly updated once new shows are available.
Viddler technical evangelist Colin Devroe has all of the details on the distribution partnership.
In all seriousness, this is an exciting deal for Viddler. It’s good to see them continue to sign on partners and with their existing base of Web celebs, they on a great road towards mainstream adoption. Will Viddler be the one to challenge YouTube eventually as a video host? Viddler seems to be the only video host to be working on innovations and technology advancements. The Viddler player kicks the arse of all other video players.
Now we know why Kevin Rose was at the Viddler dinner at SXSW. He sat at the grownups table with Rob from Viddler and Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback.
Video search engine blinkx is announcing a formal partnership with Revision3 today. The partnership will bring Revision3′s shows, including Diggnation, to the video search powered by blinkx. Financial terms were not disclosed except to say that Revision3 will share in the revenue generated by the ads blinkx provides in the videos.
Jim Louderback, CEO, Revision3 said of the deal, "Our partnership with blinkx not only extends our reach, but their advanced search technology furthers our commitment to making our content on-demand and easily accessible."
It seems that on-and-off today we’ve seen messaging about CNET acquiring Revision3 for $57 million might not be accurate. I noticed this news on Digg in upcoming early this morning. The link to the blog with the news was only pointing to some random Pownce entry. As of 11pm Eastern, the story has hit the Digg front page. There’s also a discussion thread on the Revision3 forums.
Moments ago, Jay Adelson, Digg CEO has commented on the supposed acquisition:
Normally, we don’t comment on rumors and speculation about acquisition. But no. (What is it with you people? You’re giving me a heart attack.)
What may have prompted this is the news last December of a distribution partnership between Revision3 and CNET. I do not have any further details at this point. Videoblogger Robert Scoble has posted a message that there is no deal.
Update: Liz at NTV notes that it’s only a distribution deal, not an acquisition. Please resume normal life now, thank you.
From Michael Tolosa (my emphasis):
Case in point… CNET is the current powerhouse in video podcasting. Not only do they already have a stable of good shows, but with the addition of Del Conte and the just-announced acquisition of Revision 3 (which includes Patrick Norton from Tekzilla, Kevin Rose & Alex Albrecht from Diggnation, and other shows like The Totally Rad Show), CNET has just become home to the highest caliber podcasters in America.
I have a couple emails out to see if I can get this confirmed or a correction issued.
Hat tip to Andrew Baron.