Ever since podcasting and organized video sharing systems like YouTube started promising a new form of video media, broadcasters, entrepreneurs and advertisers have been reaching beyond what they have known about video as an industry since it took off with TV in the late 1940’s. Yet few of those enterprises have lived up to realizing the promise of “new” media like Blip.tv.
Barely two years ago, video blogging was still a medium powered by a hodgepodge of hacked-together free services: the Internet Archive for file hosting, Google’s Blogger to post regular episodes and show notes, Feedburner to turn the RSS feeds generated by Blogger into a podcast feed that can be understood by podcast clients, etc. Video blogging communities like the Yahoo Video Blogging group were also scattered throughout the Internet. It was there that Mike Hudack (pictured), now Blip’s CEO, discovered a need that he and his team of developers were uniquely prepared to fill.
In 2005, Hudack & Co. were quietly building a social link service called LinkFilter. But it wasn’t until seeing the needs of the Yahoo Video Blogging community for a one-stop, easy-to-use video blogging service that he realized the same system that allowed for the sharing and management of links could also be used for video. Having already had the software, the servers and the development team, Hudack and his crew—within a week—had adapted the LinkFilter system for video, signed on a notable broadcaster as COO, and gave birth to what’s now known as Blip.tv.
Video blogging is different from other forms of so-called “user-created” video. Shows are made up of regularly updated episodes and have brands of their own to promote and maintain—an excellent alternative for advertisers worried about associating themselves with unpredictable content. In order to maintain their brand reputation and their audience, good video blogs need to adhere to a higher (if low budget) standard. In that sense, Blip hosts a more formal and dignified form of media. In fact, you could almost call it the un-YouTube.
Like many leaders in the Web 2.0 world, Mike Hudack is a passionate idealist. “Individuals should have more of an impact on the national conversation than they do today,” he says as the grin on his face only gets wider. “Control…it’s all about control. Control to the creators.”
Since its launch, Blip has increasingly given more and more options for video bloggers to customize their shows, including options that would make traditional media companies quake in their boots. Show creators can choose where their shows are published, what sort of advertising to run on their shows, or what ad network to use. Or, producers can even forgo advertising entirely.