Although YouTube continues to lead market share, there’s always up and comers looking to challenge number one. All over the Internet, competition has sprung up. None have yet stolen substantial market share, but they do offer new avenues of entertainment for viewers and exposure for producers. Most contenders with professionally produced videos feature short content in the lifestyle genre. For instance, cooking shows, computer how to shows, pseudo-political, and travel shows are popular and easy to produce. Don’t go to these sites looking for a new soap opera or crime show to watch. You’ll still need to visit Strike.tv or watch regular TV for that. So, what’s out there for the discerning Internet viewer?


Like YouTube, Sharkle provides a global platform for user generated content. It’s as simple as join and submit. Users may watch without registration, but, of course, it has its benefits. If you’d like to create a private community for only friends and family to join, it’s free. You may also choose to share your videos publicly. No matter which community option you choose, the site encourages interactivity between producers and viewers. Just like YouTube, viewers vote on videos, but added value options such as blogs and forums are available, too. The site doesn’t push its videos on other properties, nor does it mention a monetization scheme, so it appears closest to an infant YouTube in the traditional sense. Another reminder of an infant YouTube is the site’s overload of stupid drunk people videos and soft/pseudo porn. It’s quirky AdMixer lets users upload ads they create for their favorite products. Go for the categories view to choose videos to watch because the “Videos” tab will make you think the site’s full of local TV ads when it’s not.

What’s to watch?
Who can pass up a title like “Transformer Dancing Car“? It’s got a good beat, you can dance to it, and the futuristic car is da’ bomb. Electric Artists has an official channel with episodes of “The Two Coreys”, including “One for the Kids” and “Hot Tub Party”. And what YouTube competitor would be complete without a few cute animal videos? Choose from animals of the East and West like “Panda Sneeze” and “Relaxing Cat“.

Next New Networks

Next New Networks functions under a similar premise as Sharkle, but refers to its communities as micro-television networks. Its 101 networks all serve targeted Internet communities in an effort to serve a broad spectrum of audiences from young adults to baby boomers via a variety of devices including mobile phones, iPods, gaming devices, and PCs. Each micro-networks consists of three to 11 minutes of regularly refreshed content, although schedules differ per show. Each network updates on either a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly schedule. Users may visit NNN to view content or view it embedded on partner sites. They might see it in a friend’s blog. The company practices what it calls super-distribution. That means wherever viewers want to watch it, it’s there. NNN partners with iTunes, TiVo, YouTube, Joost, Veoh, Dailymotion, Yahoo, Metacafe, and MySpace, plus allows users to embed content in their blogs, social network profile pages, etc.

What’s to watch?

Fashionistas must check out “TMI Weekly” to catch up on the latest styles and celebrity fashion news. Animation fans will get a kick out of “Channel Frederator,” billed as “Cartoon Central on the Internet.” It’s even got seasonal content with the latest episode featuring “The Carol of the Christmas Pickles” and “Super Santa in ‘Jingle Bell Justice’.”


Revision3 bills itself as a Web TV network that creates and produces original, broadcast quality indie shows. The shows cover topics like technology, comedy, modern culture, and music hosted by experts in the fields. Like NNN, it believes in wide platform availability and super-distribution. The network provides its shows in every video encoding format available, across the full spectrum of devices distributed via iTunes, Bittorrent, DivX, YouTube, and PyroTV, among others. Each show is branded with an advertiser such as Sony, Netflix, Dolby, Microsoft, IBM, HP, Southern Comfort, Virgin America, Verizon and FX Networks, and includes custom message integration and host mentions. If it sounds similar to On Networks, it is. There’s no user generated content on R3, but if you have a show idea and a demo episode, you can upload it to Revision3 Beta and the powers that be will consider the show for the network line up. The site features the most limited viewer interaction tools of the group, providing only discussion forums.

What’s to watch?

If you’ve a truly short attention span, start with “Best Of…” which features the latest clips from all R3’s shows. There’s a ton of news shows, such as Diggnation, a weekly tech/web culture show based on the top digg.com social bookmarking news stories. Warez fans will want to catch Hak5 a hacking how to tech show covering topics like network security, open source coding and forensics. Web Drifter introduces viewers to the creative geniuses behind some of the Internet’s “most intriguing and outlandish” Web sites with topics as diverse as wizards, UFOs, and Bigfoot hunters.


Like Revision3, My Damn Channel present professional artists in short form content with user interactivity options, but no option for user generated content. MDC looks to co-produce, distribute and monetize original, episodic video content with pros and indies complete with revenue sharing. They also split their ad supported content revenues with their syndication partners. It’s started small with eight shows, but they’re eight shows hosted by folks you’ll instantly recognize like rapper Coolio and music producer Don Was.

What’s to watch?
Some of the content choices fall along lines you’d expect. Don Was hosts a weekly music discovery show, “The Wasmopolitan Calvacade of Recorded Music” introducing viewers to artists they probably haven’t heard of yet. Some of the content surprises. Coolio, for instance, hosts a cooking show, “Cooking with Coolio“. He’ll lead you through some of his specialities such as a game day turkey for your bowl party and a Caprese salad that’ll impress your girl. Looking for a bit more indie content? Try the bizarrely funny and informative “You Suck at Photoshop,” hosted by Donnie Hoyle, master inter-weaver of computer and life lessons.

It’s your turn. Hopefully, you’ve found at least one new show or network you’d like to check out. Now, get watching! Support your friendly, neighborhood Internet TV stations.


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