Web TV pioneer KoldCast TV is shutting down after losing millions on original content

KoldCast TV, an early pioneer of serialized original video content on the web, is shutting down. KoldCast co-founder and CEO David S. Samuels announced the decision to shutter the site in a remarkably honest email to its producers Thursday, which read in part:

“Simply stated, the costs of operation continue to outpace advertising revenue. Moreover, costs associated with audience development, in relation to industry CPM rates, make it impossible to expand our audience without losing money, which we have successfully been able to do for all but one calendar quarter during our life cycle. You read that right; we have never been able to generate an annual profit in this particular business.”

KoldCast TV, which was founded close to eight years ago, was home to a number of serialized originals, which the company distributed through its website and through apps for a variety of smart TV platforms. But while it tried to distinguish itself from sites dominated by user-generated content, it was never capable of capturing huge audiences and compete with the ever-growing online video giant that is YouTube. (S GOOG)

Samuels said Thursday that the company lost millions of dollars over the years:

“As some of you may know, our company, KoldCast Entertainment Media, LLC, has been self-funded since inception. Unlike virtually every other distribution platform, we put our own money in this game and, as a result, have lost every penny of our investment, which is a material multi-million dollar investment. The loss is painful from any number of perspectives.”

Also affected by the shutdown is The Sixth Wall, KoldCast’s production company. The KoldCast founders want to now focus on Dynamic Influence and Wild Spirit Studios, two sister companies that have been focusing on content production and consulting services for third parties.