Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Online video studios start tightening their belts


It was inevitable that the expanding world of online video would hit the wall that every other industry in America (and elsewhere) has run into, and with that decline has come rounds of layoffs. Revision3 has turfed three of their employees, including some TechTV alumni, and discontinued its distribution deal with Smashface Productions, the creators of Epic-Fu. Not to mention Seesmic, the video commenting service, though I’d contend video commenting is a dumb idea to begin with., 60Frames…the list goes on.

But the difference between this round of cost-cutting and the tech bubble is that these companies weren’t throwing around masses of worthless stock and spending beyond their means, and the fact that the economic malaise isn’t isolated to the tech sector this time around. And online video is, at least for now, much cheaper to produce than regular broadcast television. Standout shows like Epic-Fu get their start through people screwing around with a camcorder, not a big production deal…so one way or the other, there’ll always be a place for online video. It just might not have venture capital attched to it.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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