Mike Hudack, chief executive of Web show distribution and services network Blip.tv, wants his aging aunt, a decade-long AOL dail-up user who only recently got a modern modem, to be able to sit down on her living room couch, flip on the television, and not be able to differentiate whether a TV show was created by a major network or “that guy in his garage.”
“You don’t have to go up to Jeff Zucker at NBC and essentially ask for what is a bank loan” to create your own TV show, Mr. Hudack said from Blip.tv’s Broome Street loft this morning. “Sometimes, literally for a couple hundred bucks, you can start a web show and reach millions of people.”
Mr. Hudack, along with the rest of the Blip.tv team, was announcing their new distribution partnerships with YouTube, Vimeo, NBC’s Local New York station and Roku, which makes a digital video player, that will bring more of those “guy in the garage” shows to the millions–whether on computers or wide-screen TVs.
The new deals mark another step in Blip.tv’s goal to make creating Web shows a “sustainable business,” he said.
Blip.tv already hosts and distributes more than 48,000 original Web shows on platforms including iTunes, AOL Video, iPhone, Facebook, TiVo, and Verizon On-Demand, and shares ad revenues with content creators. Web show producers can upload their episodes into Blip.tv and get on those platforms across the Web in a few easy steps–which will now include YouTube and Vimeo.
Chief operating officer Dina Kaplan said the partnership with WNBC will bring between 1,000 and 5,000 of Blip.tv’s most popular shows to an on-air slot on NBC’s NY Nonstop broadcast channel in New York.
Blip.tv’s TiVo services will also now allow them to syndicate shows to the DVR service with just one click. On the Roku device, Blip.tv’s content creators will be able to create their own channel after the company releases new software this fall (watch out, Boxee!).
Blip.tv also revealed a new behind-the-scenes dashboard that will allow creatives to edit and reorder their videos, see how many views and ad dollars the videos are generating (in real time!), and also allow them to respond directly to YouTube or Vimeo comments from the Blip.tv interface. With a new online analytics service TubeMogul partnership, show creators can also see which blogs are embedding their videos and track viewer numbers by the second so they know exactly when they lost eyeballs in individual videos.
These will be important numbers to show advertisers, according to Mr. Hudack, which are difficult for these little Web shows to court attract. But if they are bundled in packages–and distributed all over the Web as well as TV sets–they might have a fighting chance to survive. “100,000 people are usually too few to justify an ad buy,” he wrote on Blip.tv’s official blog after the announcement. “It benefits advertisers because packages made up of lots of little shows can be much better targeted than individual mass market shows.”
“Together we’re creating a new future for television,” he added.