Meet the sons of YouTube
More and more online video sites are cropping up. But one, Gotuit Media, hopes to stand out by only featuring professional content.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- If you want to attract a big audience for your quirky home-made video, you probably are going to put it on YouTube, the popular online video sharing site which recently announced that people are watching more than 100 million videos a day on the site.
But some companies hope that users are interested in seeing more than just cable technicians falling asleep on couches and teens doing the numa numa dance.
One, privately held Gotuit Media, plans on differentiating itself by only posting professional content on its new broadband video service that will launch Monday.
Gotuit, which has raised $20 million in venture capital backing from Highland Capital and Atlas Ventures as well as a strategic investment from Motorola (Charts), is not a stranger to video. The company already provides video-on-demand programming to more than 1 million cable customers of Time Warner (Charts) and Adelphia in six markets. (Time Warner also owns CNNMoney.com)
Patrick Donovan, vice president of product management for Gotuit Media, said that he thinks there is room for healthy competition.
Along those lines, Gotuit.com will debut with music videos from major record labels such as Geffen, Interscope and A&M, news from Reuters and the Associated Press, and movie trailers from Sony (Charts), News Corp.'s (Charts) Fox and Warner Bros., which is also owned by Time Warner. The service is free to use and the company hopes to make money from online advertising.
But Donovan said that what he thinks will really separate Gotuit from companies like YouTube is its technology. The site indexes all its videos so that people can easily start watching a clip of a video at a specific point.
Videos are also laid out in a way so that viewers can click on a new one while watching another and have it instantly start. In that sense, it's more like using a remote control to watch television instead of sitting around waiting for a video stream to buffer.
"This is premium content coupled with a premium viewing experience," said Donovan. "It combines the best of TV with the control of the Web."
Gotuit is far from being alone though. Other sites are also trying to differentiate themselves from YouTube and their ilk.
Room for more video sites?
"There is a much larger market out there than viral videos," said Mike Hudack, chief executive officer of blip.tv, an online video firm that hosts independent TV shows made exclusively for the Web. "The segment we are concentrating on, for lack of a better term, is original serialized content."
The site, which has been up and running since last summer, recently raised an undisclosed amount of money through a round of so-called "angel" funding from private investors.
Hudack said blip.tv is attracting "millions" of viewers a day and that the company also has services which allow people to post their videos to other sites, such as blogs and video search engines.
Another relatively new site, Stickam, is hoping to make a name for itself by offering live online video streams. The site is owned by Advanced Video Communications, a privately held firm that focuses on video conferencing for corporations.
"Live video is Stickam's main concept. That's the difference between us and YouTube," said Hiro Zusho, chief operating officer for Advanced Video Communications.
Zusho said that Stickam, which launched in February, has about 80,000 members. He said the majority of its users are between the ages of 14 and 25 and many are using the live video streaming for social networking purposes.
But Zusho added that independent musicians are also using Stickam to Webcast shows and that one eBay (Charts) user has taken advantage of Stickam's video streaming technology to show live videos of products he's trying to sell.
Of course, all these companies face some significant challenges given how many online video sites there are out there. In addition, the popularity of user-generated videos could increase as some companies find a way to make money off of them.
Revver, a company that attaches advertisements to the end of online videos and shares revenue with the videos' creators, has made a name for itself by hosting the popular Diet Coke-Mentos fountain video. Revver said earlier this month that the creators of this video have received about $30,000 in ad sales.
And Mark Pascarella, president of Gotuit Media, concedes that the YouTubes and Revvers of the world aren't going to go away anytime soon.
"User generated video is not a fad," said Pascarella. "But we are not about having the most videos available but having the best videos in the most organized fashion."