Your web video experience is exhausting. Clicking in and out of YouTube, across your social web, discovering great videos among disparate Tweets and scattered Facebook updates. It takes time and energy — we believe we can make that easier for you.
We’re very excited to announce that as of today, your video experience is both simpler and smarter with the latest update to Shelby TV.
Shelby TV now delivers you a single stream of video, tailored to your interests, influenced by your friends.
So, What’s Really New Here?
In addition to rolling out a new and improved landing page on Friday, we’ve made some more changes in this simpler, more streamlined Shelby, including:
- Sharing video has never been easier. Share a video in your stream with followers on Shelby or to your Facebook and Twitter friends with just one click. Just click the Share button and add a comment and you can easily share the video to multiple networks from one place. We’ve also added a shortlink field in case you feel like sending a video to a friend in an IM or an email.
The Right Recommendations
- Each video you watch, like, and share will sharpen our ability to deliver the videos that you want to see, when you want to see them. Your Shelby stream will get better every time you use it.
New “Community” Stream
- Discover what Shelby’s community of awesome curators are sharing in one place. It’s constantly updated, so every time you sign into Shelby you’ll see the latest videos trending in our community.
New “Me” Section
- See your your shares, likes and the list of people you follow in the redesigned “me” section. We’ve updated the section so you can quickly and easily find the content and friends you’re looking for.
And Yes, There’s More
The promise of Shelby has always been about delivering a simpler, better video experience. We’re doubling down on efforts to surface some of the great technology we’ve built to make your Shelby stream more intelligent. Stay tuned — and in the meantime, please do let us know what you think!
Really excited about these updates. Thanks to all who have sent in feedback. You guys rock.
YouTube dominates in video hosting, but that won’t be the case forever. Competition will emerge from both likely and unlikely players. And that’s a GOOD thing.
Is the demise of YouTube closer than we think?
Crazy question. Let me back up.
YouTube is an amazing platform. Certainly the most impactful platform in online video to date. So much of our world is shared via YouTube videos - at this point, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube per minute! Its growth, in terms of content and viewership, is second to none…
But NO ONE, even YouTube, can keep that up forever.
Already, we are seeing signs of attrition on YouTube, as guys like Jason Calacanis leave the platform for better opportunity elsewhere. In a takedown post he penned on Sunday, Jason goes into the depth of why YouTube is amazing … and why he turned down YouTube’s funding for the greater opportunity of striking out on his own.
Jason is not the first, but his departure is a strong indicator for anyone in the video ecosystem and it became a double whammy when a rumor surfaced that outright video-hosting competition will soon emerge from the likes of Maker Studios, which has built its entire business to date ON YouTube.
So … What might the future hold?
Competition is coming.
- My prediction is that we’ll see a blend of different types of competitors. Some existing (Vimeo, Blip), some climbing the ladder of the disruptive innovation model (Maker, Machinima, et al), and some completely new.
Competition will come from all sides.
- How could anyone compete with YouTube you ask? Yes - video is expensive to host and stream, but data continues to get cheaper by the second. More importantly, a new competitor doesn’t have to compete with ALL of YouTube. If Machinima, Maker, Fullscreen or any one of them break free, taking their talent and channels with them, they could focus all of their effort on building a new platform - JUST FOR THEIR AUDIENCE - with all the bells and whistles they’ve always wanted, and never had, with YouTube. Just imagine how much the audience would love it?! (Guess what? We’ve seen this story before). Finally, and most importantly, there IS at least one competitor with deep enough pockets to play this game at scale, and that’s Facebook. Yup. I think Facebook is getting sick of watching YouTube videos be so dominant in their News Feed, meanwhile video ad CPMs are the best ad rates on the web and they want a piece of that pie.
Competition is great for video and viewers alike.
- Really. It is. With YouTube dominating this space, commanding ~50% of any revenues right off the bat, it’s nearly impossible for content creators to make a real business. Competition doesn’t necessarily fix all of these things, but new entrants mean new ideas, and teams put to the test will have to come up with innovative business solutions to accompany their great tech. And more importantly, it’s better for the consumer - the person who just wants to see great video, and wants an easy way to do it.
From my perspective, this could all be great for the ecosystem, even necessary for a balanced, healthy existence, but it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s certainly not going to follow any particular script that we’ve seen before.
All us little guys can do is embrace the chaos and change of the industry, while creating our own value for you viewers at home.
Like many of us who are obsessively tracking the TV/video industry, I took the time to watch Tim Cook’s interview with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg yesterday at D11. In particular, the conversation starting at ~10 minutes when Swisher shoots at Cook with “Let’s talk about television…” It’s worth watching, but it leaves me wondering, is Cook’s reticence accidentally setting expectations for Apple TV way too high?
Cook’s response to Swisher, as has been Apple’s canned response for a long time, was that it’s still a hobby, his exact line being “We’re still playing in TV through Apple TV.” But he then goes on to illustrate all the demand (+13M devices sold - almost half in the last year), as well as everything Apple has learned from the Apple TV as an MVP, and finally says “There are lots of things about the TV experience that can be better… we answered some of those, clearly not all of those, and we’re going to continue to make that better.”
From that, and all the other rumors, we know Apple’s going to do more than just “play” in this space. They’re going to come in guns blazing, aimed at full disruption…
…But what does that actually look like?
In the preamble to this discussion, Cook says “We have some incredible plans… we have incredible ideas…” but when Swisher and Mossberg press him on what. those. ideas. are… he just stonewalls with “I don’t want to go into detail…”
Point is, Steve Jobs had a charisma and story around him that made you think “oh man… whatever Jobs delivers is going to be great.” Cook, on the other hand, doesn’t have that same natural gift (and it’s honestly ridiculous for Apple fans to expect it), but by dodging questions the way he does, I really fear that he’s setting expectations too high for himself, and for the future iTV.
The most he said was that the TV experience hasn’t been brought up to speed with this decade, which is mostly true as far as selecting channels/programming guides etc., but that’s really not enough. The market demands a serious wow-factor in this next product. Xbox One is going after fancy features, but like I’ve said, the real win is a robust developer ecosystem.
If anything, Cook needs to start planting the seeds of a real vision for the eventual iTV… Hell, he doesn’t even need to plant them, he just needs to let the world know that he has the vision! Cable subscriptions disrupted! Digital hearth of the modern home! Whatever it is… tease it out a bit like Jobs used to. Who cares if it’s misleading? Just get an idea out there, otherwise the rumor mill will keep churning out expectations and hype-fatigue that Apple can’t meet.
Yesterday, Microsoft finally demo’d their new “game center,” The Xbox One. It comes complete with HDMI Pass-thru for cable and satellite; Blu-ray player for HD movies, a trending content section of videos your friends are watching; capacity to Skype while watching TV, movies, and videos; tons of memory to store all your movies, TV shows, and music; and slick voice/gesture controls to navigate through your movies and TV shows without the remote… All in all, an amazing way to experience all of your favorite… games, err… videos, movies, and TV.
That’s right, Microsoft recognized that people spend more total time watching video than playing games on their current box and designed Xbox One to cater directly to this habit. The result is a full on “entertainment center.” Sure, you can play games on it too, but that’s not the point.
From its industrial design - shaped like a cable box - to its UX - the ability to “pin” favorite shows to your home screen - this is a big move by Microsoft to own the digital hearth of the modern home… that means, going beyond hard-core gamers and making the Xbox One all about TV and entertainment.
Don’t believe me? Just watch the highlights of the keynote.
Clearly, Microsoft’s commander’s intent is to own the digital living room. As everyone in the space knows, it’s an all-out war for your TV between the likes of Samsung, Google, Amazon, Roku, Boxee, the cable operators, and oh yeah, that fruit company.
But this update by Microsoft isn’t as revolutionary as it seems. Yes, the tech itself is a step forward and the social integrations will be interesting, but it’s not that disruptive to the actual video industry. It still requires a cable subscription and the VOD experience just isn’t there. Really, it’s evolutionary… an upgrade to their tech with (classically) lots of features to fill out the tech specs on the back of the box.
The real win in this space will be a disruptive move for consumers on their cable subscription AND/OR a robust app ecosystem that allows smart, creative developers to build the next generation experiences for these amazing devices. Look no further than the iOS developer ecosystem to see what I mean.
At the end of the day, I’m still excited about the Xbox One. I’m not a gamer, but any move to make my TV more powerful, more alive, and (ironically) more human,** is a good one in my mind. While it’s still lacking the developer ecosystem I’d like to see, it’s another step in the right direction of making TV suck less.
That being said, I am still betting on Apple to open up an app ecosystem - whether it’s on their current device or on a giant 60 inch screen - and when they do, it’s going to be awesome.
What do you think?
** Yes. Voice navigation > crappy remote control on scale of humanness and Skype integration will be interesting for sure.
It’s been a while since we’ve said much here, but I can assure you it’s not for lack of activity. We’ve been busy building the new infrastructure of Shelby TV — your hub for videos that matter to you, your friends, and the world around you.
But with spring in full swing, there are a few things worth mentioning, so here’s what’s been up!
Fueling these updates is our most recent addition to the team: Edon Ophir, who comes to us by way of Waze and FashionTV. Edon is great — passionate and thoughtful — and is here to serve as your Community Manager. Any and all questions, concerns, or suggestions, Edon is your guy.
Also joining the team is James Aviaz, our resident Australian and Marketing Specialist, who joins us from Songtrust, by way of Uber. I’ve known James for a while personally, I love his passion for great online content, and I am super excited to work with him as he focuses on refining the Shelby TV story and how to tell that to the world.
So, what more can you expect from us in the months to come?
Firstly, video that matters to you. Shelby TV is still the best way to build your personal channel of video, but occasionally we’ll share some of the standout vids. For instance, have you seen “This Is Water“ yet? If not, do yourself a favor and watch now.
Finally, and most importantly, we’ll keep you posted on Shelby TV itself. Product updates, sneak peeks at new features, and opportunities to make a direct impact on Shelby TV. After all, it’s you who powers Shelby TV and the future of video.
Last night at the NYTM, Dan, Henry, and I got on stage to launch some cool products that demonstrate how we envision the future of video, both of which put individuals in control of their experience.
When we first told Fred about Shelby.tv, he immediately asked if someday he could have FredWilson.tv. So we are really excited to finally launch FredWilson.tv. His .tv is a public URL for anyone to see, it’s powered by Shelby, and it pulls all the video he shares on AVC.com, as well as shares to Tumblr and Twitter, into one leanback “TV” experience. If you want to learn about entrepreneurship, venture capital, or startups in general, FredWilson.tv is a great channel to watch.
Fred wrote more about it on his blog this morning which I encourage you to read as well. Thanks Fred. Psyched to finally deliver FredWilson.tv!
Once we started working on .tv’s, we realized we had the ability to create a TV experience out of any webpage with video.** So Henry built a great proof of concept at Shelby.tv/experience. Here are a couple great examples.
The Periodic Table of Videos is a great blog full of video, but the viewing experience is crap. See it for yourself here: http://periodicvideos.blogspot.com/ Now, go to Experience and hit “Launch” to see how Shelby gives you a “TV” experience for all that great content.
Here’s another example, this time from the awesome community at Reddit. Here, a bunch of Redditors are sharing favorite videos from Hulu. It looks like this.
Throw that into Shelby.tv/Experience and you’ve got a seamless, lean-back channel of great video.
This is just a proof of concept, but Shelby.tv/Experience is a great demonstration of how we think about video and where we’re going with Shelby. Try out http://Shelby.tv/experience and http://fredwilson.tv and let us know what you think.
**Technical disclaimer: “Experience” currently only works with static pages, not dynamically loaded pages like YouTube.
So excited about FredWilson.tv. Hit me up if you want your own .tv!
Companies are not people. But they are comprised of people. And the people side of the business is harder and way more complicated than building a product is. You have to start with culture, values, and a committment to creating a fantastic workplace. You can’t fake these things. They have to come from the top. They are not bullshit. They are everything. There will be things that happen in the course of building a business that will challenge the belief in the leadership and the future of the company. If everyone is a mercenary and there is no shared culture and values, the team will blow apart. But if there is a meaningful culture that the entire team buys into, the team will stick together, double down, and get through those challenging situations.
At our #ShelbySummit a few weeks ago, we revisited our core values that we wrote as a team in July 2012. Since then, I have taken the team’s feedback and rewritten the values to really establish who we are and what we believe in as a company.
It made me think of Fred’s post which resonated with me a year ago(!), as I share the view that a company is a product unto itself. And while we have had our successes and failures so far, it is our team and culture that have gotten us through each of them.
We’re still putting the finishing touches on our values, but I look forward to sharing them here soon.
It’s Election Day!
This past few weeks, we’ve seen a bunch of great video about the election shared on Shelby. Today, we’ve taken all this coverage and wrapped it up into our new Elections roll at election2012.shelby.tv.
You’ll find video from the left, right, and everywhere in between. Whether you’re interested in healthy discourse or some good ol’ political satire, we think it’s worth watching. The coolest thing about it is that it’s entirely powered by community and constantly being updated throughout the day as more and more people are sharing and watching video.
Check it out at election2012.shelby.tv and please don’t forget to exercise your right to vote today!
Really digging our Hashtag Rolls for this purpose. Fascinating way to dig deep into a certain topic.
My favorites are Street Fighter Obama vs. Romney and Mortal Kombat Obama vs. Romney, but this one showing possible voting machine fraud is nuts!
We’re so excited to be working with our friend Steve Kamb at Nerd Fitness to produce NerdFitness.tv!
Check out Steve’s post below for more details…
It’s an exciting time to be a Nerd Fitness Rebel!
Our goal at Nerd Fitness is to eliminate every potential excuse you might have for not getting healthy. We’ve covered how to eat right, how to work out, how to be more productive, how to walk, run, and hike, how to do a push up, how to do your first pull up…but we still get one issue above all others:
“I just can’t seem to get motivated!”
I hear ya. Some days, you just don’t want to get out of bed. Other days you come home from work and that couch looks MIGHTY cozy. Another round of Halo or Modern Warfare 3 sounds way more enjoyable than exercising.
Which is why we’ve created our own freaking TV channel!
NerdFitness.TV is born!
They’ve created an awesome video platform that lets people watch and curate their own channel of the best video they find all around the web (content from YouTube, Hulu, ESPN, Vimeo, etc.). It also gets smart about content you like and don’t like, showing you the stuff you need to see and getting you back to the real world so you can keep kicking ass.
The SECOND I saw what they were building, a light bulb went off in my head: “We need to have a Nerd Fitness TV channel with an epic motivational videos playing ALL the time.”
The guys at Shelby agreed, and thus – Nerd Fitness TV was born
When you visit NerdFitness.TV, you’ll see my personally selected list of motivational videos that will make you want to run through walls, do a million push ups, walk to Mordor, and exercise around the world.
Anytime you are EVER in need of motivation – visit NerdFitness.TV, watch a video or two, and then go have the workout of your life. It’s guaranteed to add ten pounds to your squat and make your Spartan war cry 15% more epic.
The Next Steps
This is just the beginning. We’re fortunate to be one of the first sites to partner with Shelby, so there are a handful of features that they’re in the process of implementing.
Over the next few months, you’ll see NerdFitness.TV evolve in a few different ways. I can’t hint too much about what’s coming, but I promise it will be cool.
If you happen to struggle with motivation, today you no longer have any excuses. NerdFitness.TV – you’re welcome, Rebellion!
Leave a comment with your personal favorite motivational video or any features you’d love to see added to NerdFitness.TV, and the NF team and I will select the best ones to add to the channel!
And don’t forget, we’re just getting started.
Nerd Fitness TV is going to rule. Hard.
My personal product goals for Shelby.tv have never been to make people watch more video (note: this includes TV, of which the average American watches 5.3 HOURS/DAY!). My goals are to…
- Open people up to the discovery of your world through video. It’s more than just YouTube. It’s more than just cat videos. I promise you.
- Help you watch the right content. Video that’s relevant to you and your peculiar interests even if that’s less content overall. (Yes, I want to build a self-limiting product, especially if it means viewers see less junk!).
- To share media that inspires our Shelby viewers to do awesome stuff and make the world a better place.
NerdFitness.tv is just a tiny first stab at that. A place for those inspiring fitness vids that will get you OFF the couch.
Check it out, get inspired, kick ass.