Blip.TV Widens Distribution and Ad Support for Video Creators

Prospects for independent Web video programming are a bit bleak at the moment. Once-hyped studios like Disney’s Stage 9 Digital, United Talent Agency-backed 60Frames, and HBO/AOL’s This Just In have scaled down or ceased operations altogether, and users have rallied to premium video destinations like Hulu, Fancast, and TV.com.

Yet while some firms have floundered, blip.tv, a company that aims to support their distribution and advertising efforts, is betting on a long-range solution to their problems.

The three-year-old company has unveiled a new dashboard and a slew of partnerships that will bring its shows to new sites and TV platforms. On the Web, show creators can now push episodes and ads to YouTube and Vimeo, which join blip.tv’s existing distribution to iTunes, AOL Video, MSN Video, and Blinkx.

Meanwhile television platform Roku will make blip.tv content available to subscribers, and NBC has agreed to broadcast shows on its NY Nonstop channel. Among the television platforms that already carry blip.tv content are Internet-connected Sony Bravia TVs, Verizon FiOS Video On Demand, and TiVo.

Blip.tv is working with FreeWheel, a video ad management firm, to enable ad serving and yield optimization for distributed videos. When a viewer is about to watch Blip.tv content on any of the above platforms, FreeWheel determines which parties are authorized to sell ads against the video and serves the most lucrative ad — be it from YouTube, Blip.TV, a third-party video ad network or FreeWheel itself. Revenues from ads sold by blip.tv are split evenly with content creators.

“Shows reaching a hundred thousand people can be bundled together into packages for advertisers,” said Blip.tv CEO Mike Hudack in a blog post yesterday. “This benefits show creators because 100,000 people are usually too few to justify an ad buy. It benefits advertisers because packages made up of lots of little shows can be much better targeted than individual mass market shows.”

At a press event yesterday unveiling the new dashboard and partnerships, Amanda Richman, director of digital services at MediaVest, said she expects blip.tv’s product will aid the media agency’s use of data to plan future video ad buys.

To drive that kind of measurement, blip.tv is working with TubeMogul to enhance the analytics data available to content owners. In addition to measuring video views and comments on a range of platforms, creators can track second-to-second viewer behaviors during a show, gathering data on when people stop watching or when they skip back to watch a certain segment again.

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