There are four services or "multi-platform networks" that are pushing video into interesting experiences on the Web. Each is offering a distribution platform on the Web for user-created content. It's a funny mix. RipeTV and College Humor are going after the sex-crazed, male college student. Current TV is a serious TV network play that may just do for serious documentaries what John Hendricks did for nature documentaries (Discovery Channel et al)
The first, RipeTV, has just launched. As reported by Mike Shields at Media Week:
"RipeTV is a video-based network that will be delivered over various media platforms, including broadband, Comcast's video-on-demand service and various mobile devices. The network's programming consists primarily of short-form clips in the five- to 15-minute range, including music videos and extreme-sports clips....It's a multi-platform digital network targeted to young males"
The interface is an over-burdened Flash dashboard not meant for simple DSL use. This is "laddie TV" for sure with shows like "Bikini World." But they already bagging some name advertisers like Old Spice.
The second is also a mutli-platform which features a cable TV network already reaching 20 million homes. This is the venture cofounded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt(and a series of investors). The programming runs the gamut from well-produced documentary to rough, individually produced programs. To support and promote the fledgling network, a lot of whose content can be seen on the Web, they launched a "Take Back TV" promotion which included live concerts broadcast on the Web. I saw Al Gore at We Media a month ago. His POV is that media, most notably TV, has been co-opted by consolidated, established interests and no longer reflects much diversity of thought or ideas.
The third is a Web-based platform where anyone can upload video and earn money from viewings of it. Driven by the popularity of pieces, video gets pushed up onto the homepage where I am guessing most of the clickthroughs take place. Everything from funny TV spots (see the LA County Fair spot) to homebrewed programming (see the Maskman series ) to "wow" stuff the Lego Monty Python video can be uploaded. Those supplying video earn between 20-50% of the revenue generated from users clicking on the Revver endslate ("tag") that producers attach to their work. This obviously promotes traffic back to Revver but how do they make money? There is currently no advertisers on the site. I presume that is on the way.
College Humor is pretty much what it sounds like. On the less sophisticated end of the TV spectrum, they host a lot of stupid videos. These generate a lot of traffic. In many ways, this site is better than the more complex RipeTV.