25 startups needed to look at (video)


Forget the three-minute video blog. The 30-minute, broadcast-quality Web 2.0 TV show is coming in all its full-screen glory. And if serial disrupters Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom have their way, neither television nor the Internet will be the same.

The duo behind peer-to-peer services Kazaa and Skype will officially launch Joost this spring, aiming to merge the best of TV with the best of the Net.

The service provides more of a television-style experience than current online video sites, with channels you can flip through randomly or program yourself. Viewers can also share playlists of their favorite shows with friends or chat with them online while watching the same program.

Joost will be free, supported by highly targeted ads based on people’s actual watching habits, their friends’ viewing patterns, and information they volunteer. Ad revenue will be split between Joost and the content owners.

Joost can offload much of the heavy bandwidth and storage costs borne by Web video companies like YouTube because the service is a partial peer-to-peer system, with content distributed among viewers’ computers. And to reassure Hollywood moguls who watched the music industry get burned by Kazaa’s legions of illegal file sharers, all Joost video is streamed and encrypted.

Funding: Not disclosed

Founders: Janus Friis, Niklas Zennstrom (shown above)

Headquarters: Luxembourg

Employees: 100

Founded: 2006

Business model: Advertising

Bragging rights: 40,000 beta testers; just beat rival YouTube by signing major content deal with Viacom; other content providers include National Geographic, Warner Music Group, and Dutch TV production company Endemol

Next up: Striking more content deals


Dabble has designed a tool for organizing videos into playlists of favorites. Users share them across the network, so, say, food lovers can dabble in one another’s video collections.

Funding: $750,000 (Hank Barry, Evan Williams, others)

Founder & CEO: Mary Hodder (shown right)

Headquarters: Berkeley, Calif.

Employees: 11

Founded: 2005

Business model: Advertising

Bragging rights: 12,000 registered users to date; partnerships with MySpace, YouTube, Grouper, Brightcove

Next up: Hiring; a groups feature for users with similar interests to share video


Metacafe’s service ranks uploaded videos by popularity and feedback from a community of 17 million monthly visitors – and pays the creators for the success of their work. The auteurs get $100 after 20,000 viewings and $5 for every 1,000 subsequent views. Since September, Metacafe has paid a total of $250,000 to 200 contributors.

Funding: $20 million (Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital)

CEO: Erick Hachenburg (shown right)

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

Employees: 65

Founded: 2003

Business model: Advertising

Bragging rights: 17 million monthly users; revenues doubling each quarter

Next up: Hiring 100 employees in 2007; partnering with movie studios, record labels and producers


Revision 3 is a production studio for geek-oriented online shows. Started by Digg founder Kevin Rose and its CEO, Jay Adelson, Revision3 sells sponsorships to companies like Go Daddy, Microsoft, and Sony for as much as $10,000 per episode.

Funding: $1 Million (Adelson, Marc Andreessen, Ron Conway, others)

Cofounder & CEO: Jay Adelson (shown right)

Headquarters: San Francisco

Employees: 7

Founded: 2005

Business model: Advertising

Bragging rights: 1.5 million monthly viewers; advertisers include Sony, IBM and Go Daddy

Next up: Launching up to 4 new shows


Blip.tv has built a platform for syndicating serialized online shows such as Starring Amanda Congdon and TreeHugger TV. Blip provides producers with software, ads, and distribution to websites and blogs. A deal is already signed with Web TV service Akimbo, which lets producers send their videos to TV sets.

Funding: Not disclosed (Ron Conway, Mark Gerson, Ken Lerer, Peter Thiel)

Cofounders: Dina Kaplan, Mike Hudack (also CEO; shown right with Kaplan)

Headquarters: New York City

Employees: 12

Founded: 2005

Business model: Licensing, advertising

Bragging rights: 45,000 content creators; key advertisers include Dove, Paltalk; licensors include CNN, Oxygen TV

Next up: Doubling staff in 2007


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: