The Internet video platform has definitely hit veteran status. While we’ve come a long way since the first viral video clips started making their way around the World Wide Web, there’s still plenty of new things to be eked out of the platform – particularly in socializing and monetizing it.
Video just hasn’t quite made it to the big time. Sure you have your handful of YouTube celebrities and watched and rewatched VYou or Vimeo clips, but there remains some disconnect between video and the social Web. A few companies have taken notice.
OnTheAir, a service that turns video chats into mini-broadcasts, made its unofficial debut yesterday. The idea behind the application is like Google+ Hangouts, but with less collective discussion and much more spotlight. One person gets to lead a session and invite participants “on stage” – and it’s completely up to the leader’s discretion. Once on stage, that person then leads the discussion.
Couple this ego-feeding with some slick Web design, and you’ve got yourself some hype. But it does current systems one better by offering the ability to let everyone watching chime in. And while we don’t know much about it, Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning’s Airtime follows in the same vein.
YouTube, the old-timer of the Web video market, is investing in creating original content with the platform, hoping to find the next big thing on the site and turn him or her into an Internet celebrity. Winners will “receive $5,000 worth of video equipment and more than $10,000 worth of promotion on and off Youtube,” according to the site’s blog. “Participants will also receive mentoring from industry experts, such as iJustine, one of the most successful vloggers and content creators on YouTube!”
Video might be one of the most popular, yet least explored frontiers on the Web. We’ve seen the boundaries of everything we can do with social application without fully leveraging one of the most virtual reality friendly mediums out there. Video has managed to – generally – remain a private communication tool, or at least act as a one-way mirror. Real-time video experiences have been far and few between, but it looks like that won’t be the case much longer.