For a long time, web video platforms didn’t treat viewing the same way as traditional TV. Each clip was an autonomous unit. Maybe users got a few recommendations after they finished watching a video, but there was no sense of a continuous curated stream of entertainment like there is while watching network TV.
VHX, which launched today, is looking to use your social network to program your web video watching. Users open the service up to their contacts on Gmail, Facebook and Twitter, then get a dashboard of videos pulled from the friends they are following.
These videos are being plucked from all over the web using a simple dashboard widget, making the overall experience akin to Tumblr; grab, share and follow.
The venture is the creation of Casey Pugh and Jamie Wilkinson. Mr. Pugh was a senior app developer at Vimeo and then ran web development for Boxee. Mr. Wilkinson was co-creator of Know Your Meme, taught the ‘internet famous’ class at Parsons and shared an Emmy with Mr. Pugh for Star Wars Uncut.
“We’re really stoked to take the curation features to the next level with mixtape-esque playlists,” said Mr. Wilkinson. “That way I can finally make an entire show of kids jumping off sheds.”
The big boys in web video are exploring the curated playlist turf as well. Youtube is looking to compete with big TV networks by pouring $100 million into a series of channels of professionally produced programming. It was why Google acquired local video start-up Next New Networks. On a local level, TechStars start-up Shelby.TV similarly creates a web channel of videos shared in users’ social networks.
“We’re much more flexible, work faster, and care more about the “small-time” curators out there,” Mr. Wilkinson said. “The people YouTube are going to ignore.”