MyPod Studios to produce original content

MyPod Studios (MPS) has built a business on curating and showing other peoples' videos on its Web site--an experience that has frustrated CEO Jay Miletsky at times because, he said, a lot of those video purveyors don't understand the reality of online video.

"A lot of video networks try to emulate a TV model by creating content that is episodic in nature [and] I don't personally feel that's the right way for an online network to operate," Miletsky said during an interview with FierceOnlineVideo.

For that reason, he said, MPS is picky about what goes on and what stays on its site, rejecting about 80 percent of the videos that are submitted and giving video producers only two gigabits for all the content they want to submit. Those who want to submit new or more video are required to police themselves and remove the material that's getting the least page views. If they don't follow up, MPS will do it for them if its analytics indicate that the content is just sitting there fallow.

"If your videos aren't getting enough page views, we'll let you know and you have three months to increase the traffic volume… or we're simply going to remove you from our site," Miletsky said.

Still, Miletsky admitted, the best way to teach people what he believes is the right way to develop online video is to do it by example. With that in mind, MPS has begun the production of its own original programming at Bravo Studios, a video studio in the Chelsea area of New York.

"I don't personally believe there is a lot of room on the Web for dramatic content," Miletsky said. "I don't think people want to watch episodic videos where they have to follow a story line or invest their time in characters or a plot."

Evidence shows, he said, that a "pretty big percentage" of the online video audience disappears after about two minutes of video watching and "after the third minute you've really lost them."

MPS, he emphasized, doesn't plan to lose its audience.

"We're going to make sure that anything we do for ourselves is no more than two, two-and-a-half minutes long," he said.

The studio play is only one of several changes MPS has coming up. It's developing a search engine for the next generation of its site to drive traffic. Right now, that onus falls on the content providers who "need to market themselves better in order to drive traffic to their video and maintain a presence on our site," he said.

The online video curator is also going to go on a self-promotion binge with a nationwide series of 28-minute infomercials that will run in multiple overnight markets.

"We're going to have a hostess who introduces MyPod Studios and some of our content," Miletsky said. "We expect we can get a good amount of people watching this at 2 o'clock in the morning and then going to the second screen and watching MyPodStudios.com. I think we're going to be able to get a lot of really good traffic that way and not have to rely on online marketing methods."

Finally, he said, MPS has diversified by purchasing First Page Networks, a series of sites focused on the real estate industry with home guides and a series of lead-generation sites for realtors.

Miletsky said MPS will beef up the home guides, adding content and video to make them "super-targeted" within the regions they cover. The company is also going to "resuscitate" the lead guidance site by creating a premium model for the 500 or so realtors already signed up.

"We'll allow them to get two leads for free if they want to maintain their profile, but for more than two they have to buy a subscription," he said.

Subscribers will get a reduced number of ads on their pages and "some customized videos they can use to draw people to their sites," he said.

In every instance--and there are several more initiatives on tap for the coming year--MPS plans to stick to Miletsky's vision of what online video is all about: "watchable content whether it's from a Hollywood studio or someone who's in their basement."

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