The Onfronts: The Good, the Meh, and the AWESOME

[show=onfronts size=large]So. Much. Online. Content.

This week brought us the first annual Onfronts, a presentation of what the year ahead has to offer in online video.  Like the oldteevee upfronts from which they get their name, the Onfronts are a way for content providers to show potential advertisers just where their money could be going, and just how many eyeballs could be taking a gander at those logos.  Of course, we here at NewTeeVee Station aren’t looking to invest big bucks for big traffic; we just wanna see all the previews and judge which will be the most squee-worthy.

It’s a noble calling, really.  And we do it all for you.  So here’s what’s coming up.

What looks good:

New seasons of old favorites.  The promo for Prom Queen: The Homecoming was full of quick cuts and short on plot points, but, much like actual prom queens, the series doesn’t need details to get us to show up.  They have us at Prom Queen.  Likewise, new seasons of The Legend of Neil and Wainy Days seem like they’re going to bring more of the quirky fun that hooked viewers in the first place.

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Vid-Biz: SlingPlayer, FCC, Web Series

SlingPlayer Mobile for Windows Now on More Devices; 15 new handsets supported, including Sprint Treo 800w, Sony Ericsson X1 and Palm Treo Pro. (Gizmodo)

FCC Releases Maps of Digital TV Coverage; commission says 89 percent of full-power U.S. TV stations will see a net gain of viewers after the switch, while 11 percent will have a net loss. (Broadcasting & Cable)

International Distribution Becoming More Important for Web Series; shows like Prom Queen and Gemini Division heading overseas highlights how web producers are mimicking Hollywood to try and turn a profit. (TVWeek)

Long Tail Won’t Guarantee Hulu Growth; Andrew Wallenstein says the popular premium content site needs to be programmed 12 months a year in order to keep growing. (MediaWeek)

Yes We Can Tops Year-End Viral Video List; Truveo collects the top videos from the past year, among them clips featuring Paris Hilton, Obama and Fred. (Truveo)


Vid-Biz: Sezmi, KickApps, SAG

Sezmi Secures $28 Million; influx of cash comes on the heels of the set-top box company laying off 20 percent of its staff. (peHUB)

KickApps Raises More than $13 Million
; white-label social networking site is working on Series C round. (peHUB)
SAG Seeks to Authorize Strike Vote; federally mediated talks between the actors’ union and the Hollywood studios broke down over the weekend. (Variety)
Sumner Redstone Under Pressure; tumbling share prices of Viacom and CBS hampering efforts to resolve debt issues of National Amusements, his family holding company. (Wall Street Journal)
MPAA Targets; web community of hobbyists who make variations on movies will take down much of its site. (TorrentFreak)
Crackle Announces New Season; will debut Dec. 1 with renewals of shows like The Groundlings and new ones like Star-ving, the new comedy series from Married…with Children‘s David Faustino. (emailed release)
Eisner Might Want Prom Queen Movie; and he’s loving being an indie in the current media market. (New York Times)

New York Times Magazine Does Special on “Screens”
; including How Napoleon Dynamite Stumps Netflix’s recommendations, an essay on becoming “screen literate,” and pictures of kids playing video games. (New York Times Magazine)

Vuguru’s Foreign Body Takes (it) Off

Foreign Body, the new online series from Michael Eisner’s Vuguru and book publisher Putnam, launched the first of 50 episodes today. The series is doing double duty as the prequel to, and a promotional vehicle for the upcoming Robin Cook book of the same name and is created by Big Fantastic, the team behind Vuguru’s previous online hit, Prom Queen.

Online Videos by

The story is an “exotic thriller” centered around medical tourism in India, focusing on “a group of dangerous Indian beauties” whose nursing skills will be put to some nefarious use. From the first episode, it’s clear Body is staying true to most popular entertainment on the web by having one of the said beauties stripping down to her underwear for a quick, pointless frolic in the ocean. The trailer shows that this is just one of many, errr, titillating moments to come.

But will people stick around that long?

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Prom Queen Resurfaces in Japan

Cultural transposition is always a bit…weird…and the accessibility the Internet provides doesn’t really change that. Case in point: Remember how one of the alternative revenue streams for Vuguru’s Prom Queen was to come from licensing the show in Japan and France? Well, the Japanese version has been airing for a couple weeks now, and it’s a trip.

Tokyo Prom Queen seems at times a shot-for-shot remake of the original, but just as often I had no idea what was going on. If you watched the original show, this is probably worth a look.

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Konichiwa, Prom Queen!

The world of online video entertainment just got a little bigger as Vuguru’s online hit Prom Queen is heading for France and Japan, where it will get a makeover to appeal to local audiences overseas. Vuguru will produce and distribute the the new versions through Japan’s Rights Entertainment and Cyber Groupe in France.

Both the original Prom Queen and it’s spin-off Prom Queen: Summer Heat are part of the deal. Localized versions of the show will start running overseas in 2008. In addition to France and Japan, Vuguru is in talks with other European countries and Russia.

A Reuters quote from Vuguru’s Michael Eisner says it all:

“If you do something well, there’s appeal for it around the world,” Eisner said in an interview.

With 15 million views for Prom Queen, it’s obvious Eisner’s done something well.

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