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NY Video 2.0 January Meetup Recap

January 31, 2008

Tuesday was the NY Video 2.0 January Meetup. The new permanent location is Webster Hall, which is pretty amazing. And now there’s a bar too. All we need now is some techno music… and girls. Gotta love it. Anyway, a quick recap of Tuesday night’s event.

1. Aditall – Rodger Wells, SVP Marketing & BD

Aditall was also the sponsor of the January meetup. The concept is simple. Give filmmakers/content producers an outlet to connect with small and medium-sized businesses who want to make inexpensive video ads. Basically, a company can search a database, find a clip that’s relevant to their business, edit it (e.g., add logo, etc.) and come away with an inexpensive video ad to use. I like the concept a lot but I wonder how smooth this process will be. For example, what if multiple companies want to use the same footage? How do they know that the footage is fair use and not in violation of a copyright. Rodger didn’t get into the details, nor did we have time to ask the questions, but a lot of low-budget filmmakers “steal” their scenes. So if I filmed a shot of a bunch of people walking in NYC, technically, I should get them all to sign release forms. I wonder how this will be managed and whether liability will come into play.

2. Camlink – Ilya Zatulovskiy, Co-Founder

OK. I love this idea. In a nutshell, it’s online speed dating (IMO, I think they should change the name of the company or brand it differently). While they weren’t able to conduct the demo due to a timing issue, the concept is clear and straightforward. Two people won’t really know if they’re a good match unless they interact live. Ilya said the fault of match or eharmony is you can waste two weeks emailing with somebody and then when you meet them, you don’t have any chemistry. Camlink is taking the idea of quick 5-min speed dating and bringing it onto the web. It’s instant gratification for those looking for someone, and it plays against the profile-based dating services out there today. There has got to be a segment out there for this type of service. I think it has a good chance at success if they’re able to market and promote their service. As one member of the audience pointed out, the biggest issue is the “empty room” problem. As in, the value of the service comes from its “inventory” (people), just like a bar or club. So there needs to be a lot of people (preferably attractive) who log on early and often.

3. uvLayer – Michael Hoydich, Co-Founder

Basically, uvLayer is a video app that allows you to easily search for media, share it with friends, and bring the video-watching experience to your desktop. The demo of the app was pretty amazing. The interface was smooth and everything about it looked great. Like Joost, the idea behind the app is to enhance the online video-watching experience and integrate social networking elements of the web. Again, the app looks great. The biggest question I have is whether users will want to download an app, or whether we’re heading to a time where every app really needs to be web-based to be successful. In other words, how will having to download and install an app hinder their adoption rates?

Oh, by the way, the highlight of the night was when rowdy member asked if uvLayer cost money, and Michael responded that it was free. For some reason, this irked the member and he called out “Bullshit!” Michael then again responded, “it’s free to the end user” in which the member responded “bullshit” again. This exchange went back and forth for a little bit, and it was the first time I remember seeing such a hostile reaction to a presenter. I don’t know if the heckling member was a competitor or just had too many drinks at the bar (maybe the bar isn’t such a good idea).

4. FlixWagon – Sarig Reichert, Co-Founder

FlixWagon allows a user to stream live video from a cell phone onto the web. I can see this sort of thing being popular, assuming it’s as easy to execute as Sarig claimed it was. The problem, as people in the audience pointed out through questioning, is that the device able to stream this sort of video is limited to about 15MM units in the U.S. currently. And some people think that’s even a high estimate. Of course, the big play for these guys is to partner up with device manufacturers. Also, stream-ready European handsets are more saturated overseas so there the whole international market opportunity.

Overall, great meetup. Looking forward to the Feb Meetup.

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