PSFK attended Tuesday night’s NY Tech Meetup; we’ve included some of the stand-out demo’s and ideas from the event below. Overall, we were struck by the seeming predominance of entertainment and video sharing ideas that are integrating ‘social’ features to afford viewers more curated and/or socially-validated content. In a landscape where YouTube (generally) is feeling like a shopping mall with little to no curation, and where Vimeo is great when you have video content you’d like to share with a more professional audience (with monetization and commerce ultimately in mind) – where do you turn to for more curated videos recommended by your friends? These applications (some new, some existing but revamped) aim to deliver a more personally tailored experience:
- VHX.tv (which we first caught on Monday) promises to be ‘the way you’re supposed to watch and share videos with friends’, combining the best parts of TV with the web. VHX will aggregate the videos shared by your friends and contacts across YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, RSS feeds, TV, and the like into one streamlined experience. Its community of users are empowered to curate their own video collections. VHX’s founders previously worked on Boxee, Know Your Meme, and others, and are poised with insight and experience to (hopefully) create a differentiated experience. With no visible advertising on the site – and potential traffic being re-diverted from external platforms to VHX.tv – our next question is: where is the monetization opportunity?
- Blip.tv aims to be the ‘best place to discover the best in original web series,’ with curated content that is hand-picked by Blip’s editors. Blip aims to fill an opportunity not fully explored by YouTube (nor by Vimeo), working specifically with mid-tier producers of original web-TV. The monetization opportunity? Well, there’s certainly advertising on the site – the revenues of which Blip shares with content producers if they opt-in to allow advertising on their series. Again, ‘curation’ and a narrower niche of more professional, original content seems to be the key differentiating point for Blip
- Yackit invites users to share their opinions via 11.5-second video submissions (‘Quick Yacks’) and up to four-person live, 24/7, face-to-face roundtable discussions (‘Live Yacks’) on a range of passion points. During that time, each of the four speakers (appearing on screen simultaneously) are given an uninterrupted minute to speak. The benefit to users? Providing a global platform dedicated to the exchange of personal opinions via video, where you can put a face behind each opinion. The monetization opportunity? We don’t yet know this, but imagine that dedicated or exclusive videos — like an upcoming live Webbe Award ‘Thank You’ Yack broadcast by Adrian Grenier and Peter Glatzer could potentially indicate a subscription model for exclusive content, or an exposure to an exclusive, dedicated audience.
- Finally, GetGlue (which we’ve tracked before) allows users to ‘check-in to entertainment,’ discover new favorites and be rewarded for what they’re watching. With an aim to be a ‘leading social network for entertainment,’ GetGlue aims to pick up on an opportunity missed by Netflix upon eliminating its social sharing features allowing you to see and learn from what your friends are being entertained by — be they movies, books, TV shows or bands/artists. It also aims to incentivize your sharing by rewarding you for your loyalty with stickers (yes, adhesive stickers — not digital badges — will be mailed to you). The monetization opportunity? Partnerships with the entertainment properties that GetGlue may drive traffic to are one possibility, as is a future where more original content is made available on GetGlue — but that’s just our guess. If you want to be a leading entertainment social network, you’ll certainly have to compete with Netflix.
We’ll keep our eyes out for progress made by these start-ups, and wish them much luck and success.