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.
The Consumer Electronics Association, reports Portfolio.com, will ban the Gizmodo blogger (I assume Blakely) who used a hacking device to turn off TVs, some in the middle of CES tech presentations by Motorola. They are reviewing taking more actions against Gizmodo.
Unfortunately for those of us who blogged the show “responsibly”, the Gizmodo prank has set back bloggers and blogging at least a few notches. CES treated the blogging community very well with excellent credentials and two well stocked comfortable blogger lounges. This hospitality was repaid, in the case of Gizmodo, with information vandalism against fellow tech enthusiasts.
Thanks to SONY Online and Flying Lab software for a very nice party showcasing the Pirates of the Burning Sea, a new Massively Multiplayer online game or “MMO”. I’ve been researching the MMORPG topic for the past few weeks and it was great to get a chance to talk to one of the game developers and Flying Lab PR about MMOs in general as well as their experiences with this game.
Also really fun was playing some poker with professional dealers who were very helpful to the many Texas Holdem novices. One of my dealers has dealt in the world series of Poker, which was cool. Very nice guy who could track the fast action in remarkable form. Interestingly, when asked a different dealer said that he makes about $100,000 per year dealing at one of the top casinos here. I think most of this is from tips.
OK, so I’m not getting to meet Donny Deutsch here at CES (because he’s not here). But glad to report that Scoble and the Bloghaus Bus o’ Bloggers will be on “The Big Idea” the show tonight on MSNBC.
Blogging is a pretty big story here at CES and I’m hoping to get some comments next week from CES CEO Shapiro about his decisions to bring bloggers in as a “separate but equal” press category. In fact the second hand stories I’ve heard indicate that the press actually was complaining they couldn’t get in the blogging lounges which were generally less crowded and more comfortable than the press rooms (they are allowed them in now).
I just talked to Plantronics who is sponsoring the lounges. She said last year they did have a blogger lounge but it was out in a tent and not as comfortable as this year’s lounges. Thank you Plantronics.
Another blogger upgrade are all the “blogger only” parties here. Intel sponsored the one yesterday at the Atomic Testing Museum, and Monster the night before at a Paris Hotel Suite. Hey Silicon Valley – YOU could learn a lesson on how to treat bloggers from the CES sponsors, though CES has the advantage of filtering folks via the cost to get to Las Vegas. This effectively reduces the number of folks who, for example, might just start writing the day before they got here. I’m hoping to ask CES if they did any screening for eligible tech bloggers. I understand there are about 200 registered here as “bloggers”, but most of the blog folks are here as Press because they are with other media outlets.