New York's video/media technology scene is chaotic. There must be nationally at least 15 different (probably many more) companies that all want to integrate web video into some sort of a business model. Now we all know that Youtube, Google Video, Yahoo, Myspace Video and Brightcove are the forerunners in this relatively new arena. What we have not determined yet (we the consumers) is who are top 3 companies will be in the long term.
Last night's meetup for New York City Video 2.0 was a wonderful showcase of things to come in the emerging internet video sphere.
DEMO 2007 in Palm Springs gave me a little insight as to who the new players were in this arena and last night one of DEMO's presenters was on hand to preview their product and answer some questions.
Clip Syndicate, a wholly owned subsidy of Critical Mention (previously funded by Silicon Alley Venture Partners, Stonehedge Capital and CIBC Capital Partners = $6.2M) looks to integrate and re-sell daily news through aggregating content centered around specific topics. So if you are interested in firefighting or gangs or sharks you can simply create a website that aggregates all shark clips that come across the affiliates and turn this into a place for up-to-the-minute shark coverage across the United States. Fees are paid to the affiliate for their content (30%), webmaster/publisher (20%) and Clip Syndicate retains (50%) of ad revenue. We'll see how this works in the long run, but interesting concept.
vidavee, a company centered around advertising withinweb content has 9 patents securing their success. Through manipulation of user content, vidavee is able to digitally insert advertisements directly into the content and republish the content once branded. Now I don't really know the mechanics behind how this works, but from their demo it was apparent that users could choose a number of options in how they would like to add marketing/branding/advertisements into their videos. Its only a short matter of time before they are funded in my opinion.
A number of other presenters showcased their companies as well: Hungryflix, a mobile video content provider wants to sell independent movies; enScramble, digitally filters and protects flash video against piracy and last but certainly not least was helloworld.
Let me take a minute to think about this concept. Its a pyramid scheme. Did I just say that? Yes, I did and so did its creator, Marvin Bzura. Helloworld is an amalgamation of Myspace, IM, Email, Video web conferencing and advertisements. Its a subscription service that costs anywhere from $10, 20, 30 or $40/ per month for consumers and anywhere from $75 to $200/month for advertisers (plus initiation fees) to use this service. Instead of using Myspace/Facebook for social networking, AOL for IM, Google for Email and webex for video conferencing, Marvin is hoping that customers will use his service instead of a multiple of other products. He also is attempting to sell his video conferencing software as real-time "programming". Apparently you can create channels through this webex that people can "tune into". Problem is that no one is watching and there are not enough contributors ( I kind of like this concept actually).
He said there was "no competition" he also said that because of the tiers in advertising, one seller can earn money from the next. But what baffled me most was that he claimed $70 Million dollars had been invested into this start-up. Furthermore, only 30,000 subscribers are currently using his service, but he has had his concept around for a number of years - so where's the growth going to come from?
I love my gmail, I like myspace (don't love it), I hate IM (don't even have it installed) and I don't webex people.