In the wake of YouTube fully embracing HD video online video aggregator WorldTV hopes to take advantage by turning all embedded online video into a, linear, TV-like experience. The end-game is to funnel all this web video towards the next generation of Browser-enabled, WIFI-capable TV sets. To that end Ireland-based WorldTV has added a new EPG feature and hit 100,000 channels.
The new EPG feature has arisen after users suggested it and allows viewers to browse other channels while watching an existing channel, and to browse the videos within a channel, something not previously possible. Future updates will allow users to pick and choose which channels appear in the EPG on their channel, in effect allowing anyone to create their own TV network of channels. The experience is much closer to a TV one and that’s important.
In some sense WorldTV is going up against other user-generated video sites like YouTube, Magnify.net and Kyte.tv. But the difference is that this has been built from the ground-up to actually work on a TV. Alx Klive, Founder and CEO says they are now aiming head-long at an open platform for TV sets.
Next year TVs will start to appear with WiFi built in, and almost certainly simple Linux-based operating systems. Significantly, the Opera browser is the only browser company to exhibit at all the major TV trade shows. While other video sites are concentrating on clips, WorldTV is going for a more linear, TV-like experience that will ultimately work on gaming consoles or simple TV set browsers.
There are clearly people who like it. The service now has about 100,000 channels created by 70,000 users in 190 countries and has about 600k uniques per month. Users don’t upload video to WorldTV – they add it from Google video, YouTube, Metacafe, Myspace or AOL.
WorldTV recently added an advertising platform where revenues are shared with users. That, and the fact that the site has reduced staff to 5 and cut burn rate by 50% means they are now in month of breaking even, they say.
That’s just as well. A fund-raising exercise this year has drawn a blank – largely due to the downturn – so the site is still boostrapping and aiming to run on revenues for longer.