Business TV channels go online: Where are you?


Barry Diller, the media baron who started Fox Broadcasting Company, had an epiphany after having built an empire of Internet business TV channels and cable companies, including; Ticketmaster, Home Shopping, USA Networks, and the Sci-Fi Channel. He envisioned that his feverish bid for Lycos would let him redirect web surfers to his popular television shows such as Xena Warrior Princess and Jerry Springer.

But the bid tanked and the deal crashed.

However, Diller somehow knew that video would be big. His Home Shopping Network allowed him to experiment with his passion for the new media (read video), which uses content for commerce. His vision still drives his business including Ticketmaster Online and,

Mr. Diller’s “gut feeling” is a reality today.

According to a feature on titled 8 Hot Media Trends you need to know , “brands are the new publishers” including online video via ‘owned’ business TV channels.

Going by what Red Bull does with its homepage, TV Stations and other entertainment channels better watch out since brands are certainly setting the arena on fire: Red Bull features videos, photos, games, sporting events, on its business tv channels dubbed ‘’

American Express – with its – turned a dry, credit card brand into a publishing powerhouse on entrepreneurship. Content from is now featured, reproduced, or reprinted on Incand Mashable.

The web now sits at the junction where television and cable seem to be coasting off towards the edge of a whirlpool leading to a semi-extinction, thanks to a new swarm of Youtube, Hulu, Google TV, TiVo, Dailymotion, and Vimeo addicted users on the web. Video-addicted users prefer to pick and choose the parts of television serials, soaps, and movies they want, instead of the entire episode series or movie.

Users want to choose what they want to watch. Much like how they skim through online text, they want to skim through an entire series of television serials, skip parts of any audio-visual they don’t want, and watch select previous episodes. Good-bye cable TV subscription plans and Welcome broadband or live TV. Barry Diller’s new business called delivers just that, across all devices.

Ashkan Karbasfrooshan – founder and CEO of WatchMojo – recently wrote a post titled Is Video the New Software? on TechCrunch.

In the post, Ashkan mentions Mark Suster – a VC and an Investor in Maker Studios. Mark believes that the television disruption is in full swing. Further, Mark points out clear benefits of web-based video:

  • audience feedback,
  • hungry subscribers who swallow every new video release,
  • and monetization of videos for an additional revenue stream.

Ashkan, later in the post, states that “content and distribution go hand-in-hand… content without a means to get distributed is worth nothing”. It is therefore clear that distribution companies (video and content networks) are waiting around the aisle for content companies or for brands that want to use content for commercial purposes to produce and distribute content. Some brands are clearly working these networks already.

Online Business TV Channels inevitable refers to a recent survey by and Digiday in their Q2 report and points to the fact that agencies and branding professionals now think that the online video and television marriage is inevitable. More than 48% of them already plan to combine online video and business tv channels this year. Over 62% of branding professionals opine that online video complements TV and a whopping 96% expect video ad spends to increase by at least 23% by the time 2012 ends.

It makes sense since ComScore reports 180 million U.S viewers watched 33 billion videos (this includes 11 billion ad videos) in June 2012.

In essence, brands, both big and small, have nothing to stop them from unleashing a content blitzkrieg via business TV channels with video, text, and all sorts of engagement efforts on popular social media platforms.

Television has predominantly moved to the web. Brands are the new publishers. Distribution infrastructure like Youtube, Hulu, and Vimeo waits.

When are you going to create profit-pulling or brand-building business TV channels?