Thursday, October 09, 2008

Eyespot joins the deadpool

I received the following email this afternoon:

We deeply regret to inform you that Eyespot Corporation will no longer be able to continue serving you.

For our users at eyespot.com, we're no longer allowing you to upload new videos. You can retrieve your uploaded video and mixes by going to your mymedia gallery and clicking the download link below the video thumbnail. 

For our business customers in the eyespot video network, your site will continue operate unaffected for a limited period of time. We encourage you to migrate your video solution to one of our competing providers in the video mixing (e.g. http://corp.kaltura.com/) and video publishing space (e.g. http://www.fliqz.com/) immediately. We'll soon be providing you with the means of downloading your community videos from within your dashboard at http://eyespot.com/partnerDashboard].

We have spent three years providing over a hundred thousand of you with a unique video experience. We believed that by putting creative tools and rights-cleared media into the hands of influencers and connectors, Eyespot would enable social media and participation culture like no other company. 

After playing over two hundred million of your video creations, we have to stop. After assembling possibly the most potent team in digital media ever, we're now moving on.

Thank you all for being apart of our community over the past three years.

Jim Kaskade 
President & CEO


Eyespot.com followed the tried-and-true path of first targeting consumers, and when that didn't work, shifting focus to businesses. That didn't work either, so now they're going out of business, and I fear that many others will follow. It's overwhelmingly hard to monetize video on the Internet, and only a handful of sites have the traffic necessary to attract advertisers. In Eyespot's case, according to their email, they claimed just over 100,000 unique users over three years--not enough to make the business attractive to either advertisers or investors.

I hate to see any business fail, and I wish the management and employees of Eyespot well. This is a terrible time to be out of work. I'm afraid that many, many others are going to follow them into unemployment.

UPDATE, October 12, 2008: According to an email that I received last night, Eyespot's service will shut down for good at midnight on October 15th. According to the email, users must retrieve any content that they've uploaded to Eyespot's servers before then, or it will be lost.
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