A generation ago, if you wanted to discover new music videos, MTV (s VIA) was more or less the only show in town. But now that MTV doesn’t really show music videos anymore, where are viewers left to go? That’s where Cull.tv comes in.
Founded in late 2010, Cull aims to solve the discovery and playback issues that until recently have plagued music video aficionados, and in so doing become a type of MTV for the digital generation. The startup came about after a group of friends found that there was no easy way to setup background music for a holiday party. Faced with the prospect of either spending hours building a video playlist or babysitting a laptop all night, the team began work on a technology solution to the problem.
Now, after a closed beta over the last few months, Cull.tv is finally launching to the public, with a new interface and a mix of editorially curated and dynamically created channels designed to pique the interests of music lovers across a number of genres. The site launches with a number of automatically updated featured channels, including:
- New Music Television: The best new music videos, trending now
- One-Time!: A daily rotation of hip-hop jams and freestyle acrobatics
- Beat Axxis: Synesthetic sounds of electric beat-oriented tomorrow music
- Dead Fingers Talk: Experimental music, left-field sounds, and videos from the unknown
- Audio Bulwark: The latest independent music videos for lovers and fighters
- Dirty Sticky Floors: Wild bohemian dance madness, frenzied and cracked digital missives
There are also a number of fixed playlists from niche programmers, including some from early Cull beta testers who developed interesting collections of music on their own, as well as some from music blogs and publishers like Eclectic Method who connected with the Cull team prior to launch.
In addition to discovery through channels, there’s a social element to Cull; users can connect to social networks and see what their friends are sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Users can also create their own playlists, and share them on those same networks.
Of course, Cull.tv isn’t the only player in this game — there are any number of startups and established players tapping into public APIs of online distributors like YouTube (s GOOG) and Vimeo (s IACI) and building discovery engines for online content. VHX, Redux, Shelby.tv and even YouTube Leanback all create continuous streams of videos based on dynamically created or socially curated channels. But Cull is the only one focused specifically on music videos.
Cull.tv is backed by a new startup incubator created by Allan Teruel and Renelito Delos Santos of YC Rejects fame (or perhaps infamy). After being rejected for consideration by Y Combinator, the two made plans to launch their own seed fund, drawing investment from angels and soliciting interest from startups. Now rebranded as Tenacity Worx, the accelerator is making investments in startups, with Cull being the first to be announced.