Who needs YouTube? Bolt, NBBC, Network2 on stage in NYC

Can YouTube be beat? Who will be the next online video star?
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

TV killed the video star? Or vice versa?

Veteran and aspiring online video stars met-up last night in New York City’s Columbia University to demo and promo their video plays before an enthusiastic audience of about 150 members of the NY Video 2.0 Group.

Although bitter cold outside, hot ideas were bubbling on campus on how to meet-up against Google’s YouTube, and make money while doing it.

Google believes it has a one-two golden video punch between YouTube and Google Video.

Marc Siry, NBC Universal, Jeff Pulver, Network2 and Aaron Cohen, Bolt, aim to give Google a run for its money.

NBBC, Marc Siry, VP, NBC Universal

NBC’s YouTube content distribution strategy is all about NBC network promotion. NBBC’s Web content distribution strategy is all about advertising supported video syndication of both NBC digital videos and third-party owned video content.

Siry votes for the monetized video content “digital venture” he is launching for NBC Universal and invites everyone in on it.

Siry joined NBC last June to create a business-to-business value-driven marketplace connecting content owners (licensors), content distributors (Website publishers) and advertisers (marketers).

The NBBC value proposition: 

We connect businesses that have video with businesses that want video, and enable both parties to profit from the exchange.

  • Upload: Content owners place content on the >nbbc platform
  • Monetize: Video is paired with advertisements
  • Distribute: Web publishers access content
  • Connect: End users view content and advertising revenue is shared

Currently in beta with over 400 accounts, NBBC will soon be “going wider” with free distribution of a self-service online content management system “Clip Browser.”


NBBC underscores it "welcomes all qualified content licensors and web publishers.”

Current partners include A & E, The Biography Channel, The History Channel, About.com, Forbes.com, Slate… 

JPMorgan Chase and Procter & Gamble are among NBBC’s advertiser accounts.

The target ad format is a 7 second pre-roll spot on short form video content. Siry proudly noted NBBC is commanding “healthy” CPMs “north” of $25.

Network2, Jeff Pulver, Founder 

The Network2 tag line may be familiar sounding--Discover.Watch.Share.--but Pulver is confident his online video start-up could become the “Dreamworks of the Internet.”

“You're the TV mogul now,” Pulver promises: 
Network2 is your guide to the best Internet TV shows available. We feature links to the show's individual episodes, an in-line player, and tools to let you take shows with you to your own video browser, desktop, or portable media device. Network2 features reviews, opinions, and ratings on the shows featured on the guide. Add your own comments, rate the shows, and add tags that help others find the great content available on the net. 

When you've found your favorites, you can create your own channel. Share it with friends or load it into your video browser like FireAnt or iTunes, even into your portable media player. You're the TV mogul now. Build a channel of shows that match your interests, and share the subscription with others. It's easy.”


Photo by Donna Bogatin

Currently securing Series A financing, Pulver has self-funded the venture to date.

Pulver noted that while his “aspiration is to make money,” you can’t make money if “invisible.”

To jumpstart visibility, Pulver will be sponsoring a $40,000 contest to “create a show on how to watch Internet TV,” Internet TV on Network2.

Bolt.com, Aaron Cohen, Founder

Bolt attended the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University and took to the Columbia blackboard to illustrate the challenge of playing in YouTube and MySpace “winner take all” categories.

Cohen co-founded teen-oriented Bolt in 1996, as a subsidiary of Concrete Media. From 1998 to 2001, Cohen served as CEO of the Internet consulting firm and returned to Bolt in 2002. In 2004, he lead a management buyout of Bolt and the company is now owned almost entirely by employees.

Last year, Cohen launched a rebranded Bolt2, dubbed the Internet’s “first retro brand.” The philosophy is “creative networking” and the target audience has “matured” over the past ten years.

Cohen noted the Bolt properties take in about $10 million in annual ad revenues while indicating marketers will shift more of their budgets online as video content quality increases.

Cohen put forth that it is "no longer interesting to compete against YouTube" and underscored that a differentiated product, service and/or value proposition is the key to success.


Photo by Donna Bogatin


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