Today Current TV, with Al Gore a prominent investor, is filing for a big IPO. But there is a problem. They lost a lot of money “making” their 64 million in revenues last year. Will they ever be profitable? Global warming or not, I’m guessing they will be profitable about the same time that hell freezes over.
I still just don’t get it. I understand why video clips are fun and a significant development online, but I don’t get those who express *economic* enthusiasm for online videos produced by … you and me. As I’ve noted before about online video, I don’t understand why people think video sites can make money. Youtube cost Google 1.6 billion but doesn’t make money. Podtech had a brilliant, well executed, forward vision of the online video landscape. They even had the ultimate forward looking blogger spokesmodel Robert Scoble (who has just moved to FastCompany.com and is right now hanging in Davos with the uber-economic-elite). Despite this Podtech failed to deliver on the promise of monetizing quality content to the larger user base. I had a chance to talk about this with John Furrier at CES. John told me he’s still very bullish on video, but Podtech is going to focus more on a model where they’ll be producing company videos for corporate clients, helping them to leverage social media advantages. We also talked about how hungry many big companies are for those who understand social media and want to leverage that power to their corporate advantage. This, in my opinion, is where you’ll see most video and podcasast production efforts moving over the next few years. The money is in leading corporate clients into the uncharted social media waters rather than trying to build website visitation and monetize clips. The latter is a very dead end in my view.
So, should you invest in Current TV’s IPO? Sure you should, right after hell freezes over.