Fund It, but will they come?
In conjunction with Sunday's San Jose Mercury News article, detailing Q3 06 Bay Area Venture Investment reporter Constance Loizos highlights equity investment in the online media space across North America.
Her angle is that the future of online media will resemble today's cable TV programming - ad supported and slicker production value. VCs want a return on their investment, especially after the recent online media M&A activity, and advertisers want to capitalize on the traffic of the social media networking sites like YouTube and MySpace.
Investment is flowing into start-up broadband channel services including Denver based ManiaTV, San Francisco based Revision3, and LA based RipeTV, each of which is producing web-original serial shows. Many of these are taking a page from print mags Maxim and Stuff by targeting 18-24 year old males and others are creating more informative web-only programming Revision3's In Digital:
Also highlighted by Loizos, Boston based Brightcove ($21.5M in funding) and Maven Networks ($30M in funding) are competing to power and distribute monetized media for content libraries such as NBC's National Broadband Channel (NBBC), CBS's College Sports Television Network (CSTN), and Warner Music.
THR predicts more private equity investment in the online media space over the next two quarters along with ongoing consolidation as the Old Media networks broaden their own online channels to compete for the fragmented but growing, online video audience.