Network2.tv:The Vonage of TV?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 10, 2006

I just talked with Web-calling pioneer Jeff Pulver about his new venture, Network2.tv. The idea: Pulver has, effectively, compiled a TV guide to Web-only, independently produced episodic video shows. These episodic shows can be sitcoms or regular video commentaries. He’d selected more than 100 such shows based on quality and has listed them on his site, Network2.tv. His goal? To create a new, Web-based TV network.

Here’s where this gets really interesting: Pulver believes that, in 2007, we’ll see the rise of a new TV network that will eventually compete with the likes of NBC, ABC and CNN. He believes that this new TV network will be Web-based. And he hopes it will be Network2.tv.

To that end, he is trying to aggregate high-quality Web episodic content. This content differs from clips you’ll find on YouTube in that Pulver says he focuses on quality of the video and the production. He also lets users rate the shows. And he hopes to introduce more community and e-commerce features in the coming months: Eventually, advertisers might be able to do product placement with particular Web shows. And viewers might be able to click on a show character’s shirt and buy it online.

It’s an intriguing idea. And knowing that Pulver was several years ahead of everyone else in predicting a Web-calling revolution, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got it right again.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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