'Where Are They Now?' YouTube-Killer Edition
News of Metacafe’s imminent acquisition by The Collective means it’s time to say goodbye to one of the last independent would-be YouTube-killers. With that in mind, GigaOm’s Janko Roettgers takes a stroll down memory lane, serving up a “Where Are They Now?” of online video sites of the past. Some highlights:
- Veoh came onto the video scene in 2005, but huge maintenance costs forced it into bankruptcy in 2010. Its assets were eventually sold to Israeli-American company Qlipso a few months later.
- Blip.tv also started in 2005 as a YouTube competitor, but eventually changed course to become a network for Web video series. It is now called Blip.
- Revver, founded in 2004, was one of the first video sites to share revenue with content producers. After being sold in 2008 to LiveUniverse, the site eventually shut down some time last year.
- Joost, founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis in 2007, was more a predecessor to Hulu in concept, but the site never acquired enough premium content. Its P2P software was another barrier to entry. The company was sold to Adconion in 2009 and was shut down earlier this year.
- Dailymotion, France’s answer to YouTube, opened in 2005. France Telecom's Orange bought 49 percent of the site in early 2011, and the rest just last week. It looks like Dailymotion will power Orange’s IPTV efforts, according to Roettgers.
- Vimeo, founded in 2004 and owned by IAC, has had some success with user-generated content. It has become a hub for indie filmmakers, and had a rumored valuation of $300 million earlier this year.