Pyro.TV brings online video to Facebook

29 08 2007

Online video aggregator and rich media publisher Vibe Solutions has integrated its Pyro.TV portal with Facebook, offering the social network’s 24 million users access to a range of video content from networks such as ABC, NBC, Comedy Central and CNN.

Facebook users can embed a version of the Pyro.TV player in their profile and customise channel line-ups.

The development follows last month’s announcement that Pyro.TV had partnered with video search engine Blinkx.

In related Facebook news, online measurement firm Hitwise reveals that the social network is now the 10th most-visited site in the U.K. and is ranked 20th when it comes to diverting onward traffic to retail sites.

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Veoh’s new CEO on the challenges ahead

28 07 2007

Some interesting (if obvious) quotes in this Ad Age interview with Steve Mitgang, the former Yahoo exec tasked with leading the company’s ‘Panama’ search iniative and recently appointed CEO of online video aggregator Veoh:

Ad Age: Why has it been so hard to create a viable business around online video? It seems to be wildly popular among consumers.

Mr. Mitgang: According to the reports, YouTube only sold $30 million in ads last year because they didn’t build a system to support … that healthy tension between editorial and advertising. They just didn’t build it. They were trying to grow [an advertising vehicle] out of a legacy position as opposed to starting out the right way. We’ve built and are enhancing a discovery and recommendation engine to give users the right video and discover gems. Not just show you what you’re looking for. The flip side of understanding those user behaviors and recommendations is for targeting purchases. We can say, look at the car enthusiasts … [these ones] are primarily interested in German cars or muscle cars. Being able to tell that to the brand manager of Mustang or Mini, we’ll be able to help them better than anyone else. Whether watching user-generated or premium content we’ll help target against the right users.

Ad Age: From a consumer standpoint, how does the recommendation engine help?

Mr. Mitgang: There are big problems on horizon for video that we’re solving. In a world with billions of videos, it’s harder for people to know what’s interesting. That’s why building discovery or recommendation engines is key. Search only solves a transactional problem. Whether you’re shopping at Amazon or Netflix that discovery process is an important one. When people are using video more completely, in a 100,000 channel world, discovery’s important. How you manage videos is important, along with how you manage your bandwidth and disk space.





Deal watch: Lionsgate buys in to Break.com

12 07 2007

Lionsgate has taken a stake of $21 million (= 42% of equity) in blokey-targeted video aggregator Break.com, reports Bloomberg.

Break.com attracts around 1.3 million daily unique users, each consuming around 12 videos per day. The company already has content deals with NBC Universal, Endemol USA and Twisted Pictures.





WeShow launches online video guide for the time-poor

12 07 2007

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WeShow unveiled its beta site yesterday, with country-specific versions for the US, UK and Brazil.

The company is positioning itself as “a human-powered guide to organize the chaos and provide a convenient, easy-to-navigate view of high quality videos from around the world.” In other words, it’s a front-end which sifts and filters professional and user-generated content available from other sources, including Google Video and MySpace.

Content is organised into 200 ‘channels’ from around 15 sources. In its launch presentation, the company claims it’s aiming to tap the 96% of Americans who “cannot find the videos they are looking for when initially conducting a search for specific content” and around half of US online video users who are put off watching more because they can’t face the drudgery of pages and pages of search results.

Versions for Japan, India, France and Germany are due to follow in Q4.

The company is backed by The Pilot Group (Bob Pittman) and William Sahlman, Professor of Entrepreneurial Management at Harvard Buisness School.