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Techcrunch is reporting that the exciting online tv guide Meevee has been acquired by LiveUniverse. No amount has been provided by editor Michael Arrington but his guess is "less than $25 million." My guess is that an online video TV guide was a bit ahead of its time when they began operations in 2000. Today with almost every video clip offering an embeddable option, a tv guide might have more of a chance to make it big.
Tilzy is a NY-based online video guide that provides video show reviews along with a what to watch guide. They list hundreds of shows in their database. Check out our interview with the Tilzy founders.
Yesterday the discussion at the water cooler was around the YouTube Videocracy event in NYC on Wednesday afternoon. Ian Schafer has a recap of the event which brought out some of the biggest names in online video today including Tay "I will sell out for a whopper and a Dr. Pepper" Zonday and "Will It Blend" dude.
Josh Cohen from NY-based Tilzy.TV has posted a video (embedded below) of the massive size of the event including a catwalk (?!?). Josh notes that he was surprised not to see any cameras at the event — Josh doesn’t realize how controlling Google is with what they share. Let’s not forget what happened when I attempted to record a one-minute piece at an event booth last year.
What this event shows is just how many dollars Google is willing to put behind YouTube to keep it on top. The massive marketing spend is hundreds (maybe even more) of times larger than even its nearest competitor. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career, the more spent on more marketing versus the competition, the more likely you are to win. It’s not always the case, but it’s certainly a contributing factor.
You might want to watch the video now as once Google realizes it’s there, it will be removed.
NY-based videoblog Rocketboom is said to be expanding it’s videoblog portfolio says Tilzy.tv. Back in November, Robert Scoble took Rocketboom founder Andrew Baron hostage in his car for an interview and Andrew noted that a "live" Rocketboom was in the works (currently the produce the shows ahead of time).
Today Tilzy sat down with Rocketboom producer Elspeth "Ellie" Rountree for an interview (I’ve embedded it below) and Ellie noted that she is also working on a new show which will be produced by Rocketboom and will feature "interesting content". Unfortunately someone offstage cut her mic so we don’t yet know what that interesting content will be. Both the live Rocketboom and Ellie’s show are "coming soon."
Check out my audio interview with Joanne and Andrew from 2007.
Last week I sat down with Joshua Cohen and Jamison Tilsner, founders of Tilzy.TV. Tilzy is a tv guide for the Web meaning that it wants to provide you with shows to watch based on your likes and dislikes. They also provide commentary on the online video scene and new video shows. I first met Joshua and Jamison back in April where they presented Tilzy to the NY Video Meetup. I was very impressed during our discussion how open they are to feedback and suggestions, it's actually quite refreshing. Here are my notes from our conversation:
The name comes from Jamison's last name
They list over 400 video shows with more added each week
Relaunched the site last month based on user feedback
Goal is to be the online tv guide just as the tv guide is to tv
They are focused on the content, not the technology – this is their differentiation point
Focus is on semi-pro and professional videos, not the typical YouTube video
The team is Joshua and Jamison, occasionally they bring in freelance journalists
They are working on a daily video show – similar to Diggnation but much shorter in length
They generate revenue from Google AdSense and affiliate referrals
They are working hard on pr/marketing now to grow traffic
Their goal is to send traffic back to the video content creators web site as the video is just one element. They are seeing that more and more professional video content is about the experience in addition to the video
Thanks to Joshua and Jamison for taking time out of their busy day to meet with me!
This evening I attended my first NY Video 2.0 Meetup. Quite a large crowd (about 150ish) with most people raising their hand that this was their first video meetup. About half of the audience work for large companies (AOL, T-Mobile, etc.) and half from smaller companies and startups. A handful are from recruiting firms and a few agency people – yet not as many as I would have thought. If you are in NYC and looking for a job in the new Web space, this meetup might be for you.
Here are my notes…
- Gary (no last name) noted that his video blog is the best, even better than Ze Frank – winelibrary.com - though I had a chance to chat with him afterwards, seems pretty cool
- Brightcove had 2 people – they seem to be pretty hot in the NYC meetup scene. — not sure why they didn't answer the questions that related to how AOL Video is working with Brightcove
- The idea of the meetup is to bring people together who are in the video scene somehow.
- Viddler recorded the event and I can post audio if someone prefers audio.
There were 4 companies presenting and here are my notes and general comments related to each one.
Rob Sandie – Viddler (viddler.com)
- We are the best way to host video online
- Our forte is longer and larger video
- Ability to seek anywhere in the video at anytime unlike YouTube
- Rob speaks about timed comments and how this differentiates and is innovative
- He shows the dashboard
- Uses 3 volunteers to show the live recording feature
- Shows their new video commenting feature – this is very cool!
- Check out our other Viddler coverage
Shay David – Kaltura (kaltura.com)
- Starts with a video which had a high production value but didn't say much frankly
- Today they are showing some brand new features
- Tagline – It's the place to create together
- 1% produce 9% might comment, 89% sit back and watch, at Kaltura they want everyone to be part of the show
- Kaltura works by allowing friends to submit videos about a topic, then the producer puts the final video together
- Flash editor – works like a simple timeline
- It seems very user-friendly
- It allows you to pull images from Flickr using CC licensing
- Their hope is to provide a platform to allow people to collaborate on creating content
- They are looking at advertising and commercial licensing for sites
Gino Yoham - AOL Video (video.aol.com)
- Starts with a discussion about something – couldn't seem to get on track with what he was saying
- He speaks about "truveo" and their search product – sounds like AOL acquired them
- Their portal is just an index of video – videos play inside AOL (not sure I like that)
- Next he shows their widget and all of the big video companies are using truveo search
- Overall it looks like AOL's video strategy is to be a search engine for video – I can't say that I was "wow'd" by this presentation. I would love to understand if this is the overall strategy on video or just the search piece?
James Tilsner from Tilzy.tv (tilzy.tv)
- They just launched – 2 people in the company
- Their vision is to be an entertainment guide to the Web
- They identify what they think is the new entertainment media
- Exploration and discovery – they built a surfing guide experience
- Basically it is a way to tag the brand
- It's an editorial – not exactly sure what James meant by this
- We want to cover this new entertainment medium like Entertainment Weekly would
- Believes it is important to drive traffic to the producer's brand
- My commentary would be that this product needs a lot of work before it can be mainstream. The audience had some good ideas for these guys, I hope they were listening!
- I think the concern here is that it's a completely manual process but could become a directory of video… but what gets in? how quickly can they get content in there. Would the VT massacre have been listed in news as quickly as it was on CNN?
- The two guys have great positive attitudes and that should help them as they grow