Made-for-the-Net: new content tailored to the Web audience

By June 25, 2007

Whether amateur or professionally-produced, some content with the ambition to capture sizable audiences is made for the Net and for the Net only. Diggnation, a weekly show hosted by Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht of Digg fame, hit

its 100th episode in early June. Diggnation is essentially a podcast about high-tech which attracts sponsors such as Netflix, Microsoft and IBM. The show is available at Revision3 which bills itself the “first media company that gets it, born from the Internet, on-demand generation.” Diggnation Created by Jay Adelson, Kevin Rose and a few other young entrepreneurs, Revision3 is designed for an audience who wants “a more gritty, edgy, highly-targeted and in-depth form of entertainment.” Besides Diggnation, Revision3 carries more recently-created shows like notmtv about the independent music scene or Geekdrome which discusses movies, comics and video games. The site claims over 1.5 million downloads a month and recently attracted funding from investors like Marc Andreessen and Greylock Partners. The name Revision3 embodies the vision of the company founders about the evolution of the old TV model: “Revision 1: Cable, adding general interest channels, catering to most common denominator. Revision 2: PC-based Internet video, indy films, no business model, no loyalty, no audience. Revision3: TV and Internet converge. iPods, Tivo, mobile, broadband enable mass, loyal audience to shift to on-demand, niche content.” is another example of a made-for-the-net show. In February, Justin Kan attached a video and a mike to his head and became the first 24/7 reality show subject. As one might expect, things get boring watching Justin go about his life, moving or signing up for phone service. To spice things up, is adding channels. The latest recruit is, the video blog of a Pittsburgh web designer. At any time, a couple hundred fans are watching. On YouTube, several contributors have reached a popularity that could previously only have been achieved on TV: Renetto, Ben Going and others federate hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of viewers. Old media types show interest In his career, Steven Bochco has won 10 Emmy Awards for his acclaimed TV series, Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law and NYPD Blue. The 63-year old is not what one would call an amateur. But after years of creating scripted, 60-minutes episodes starring professionals actors and costing up to $3 million a pop, Bochco was tempted to try his hand at new media. In March, he created a series of 44 episodes in which young people tell short and confidential stories about embarrassing moments. Billed “Cafe Confidential”, the series is available on video-sharing site Metacafe. Metacafe Bochco is not the only old media type who finds what is going on online interesting. Michael Eisner, the former head of Walt Disney, and Time Warner Investments are backing the video-sharing site Veoh Networks. Mixing old and new approach, Veoh launched a channel with which will include user-contributed celebrity videos. Veoh is counting on quality as a differentiator and has announced that they will bring DVD-quality Internet video directly to televisions by collaborating with companies like AMD, closing the loop between TV and computer viewing. In a reverse move, MySpace, a symbol of the Web 2.0, is using recipes from traditional TV to attract audiences and rekindle voter participation in young people. MySpace has announced it would launch a reality show called “Independent” in which candidates will vie to be the choice of young voters. The show will be produced by Mark Burnett considered a pioneer of reality television. This professionally-produced content should also prove easier to sell to advertisers. Isabelle Boucq for Atelier   FEEDBACK For comments on this article, email us at

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