San Francisco and the Valley are hardly the heart of the television industry, but that has not stopped the techno tyros here influencing the move of video and TV onto the internet.
I’m at the NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco’s Mission Bay where a host of online media companies and venture capitalists are discussing the future of TV on the net. Steve Chen, YouTube co-founder, and Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, are among the speakers and a number of new companies are launching.
A panel of experienced venture capitalists has just put something of a damper on the hopes of the start-ups demonstrating their services in the foyer.
Asked whether the comedian Will Ferrell’s FunnyorDie site made sense to him, Dennis Miller of Spark Capital said: "The die part does."
"There’s too much money chasing too few ideas. There is already roadkill and there will be massive roadkill ahead."
Mike Hirshland of Polaris Venture Partners, a backer of Heavy.com and JibJab, said there was a place for original video content being produced online, but admitted: "It is very scary, but I think a small number of companies are going to make it."
George Zachary of Charles River Ventures disagreed: "I think it’s a humongous mistake to invest in content," he said.
He said the real money was to be made in aggregation and distribution of existing content with social networks in a good position to do this. He highlighted Bebo’s Open Media announcement yesterday in which it opened up its site for broadcasters including the BBC and CBS to distribute their content freely.
Video coverage of the conference is available on the NewTeeVee website.
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