Skype founders to launch Web TV

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There is something very schizophrenic about the way the TV world and the Web world are both converging and diverging.

Reuters is reporting that the founders of Skype plan to launch advertising-supported Internet television shortly. Code-named Venice, the project will “bring quality TV programmes for free to consumers” said Skype co-founder Janus Friis. Presumably this will be another P2P clients, along the lines of Skype and Kazaa.

It sounds like this will not be ‘user-generated TV’ though since Friis said “We don’t want any more lawsuits”. In other words, we don’t want to take heat from rights holders who have had their TV shows mashed-up or just the good bites simply uploaded to the service as on YouTube. I tae his point but – as we all know – it’s what people have done to TV on YouTube which has made it so interesting – not just regurgitated TV.

What I’d like to know is, is “Venice” being developed by hackers in Estonia, as Skype was…? Perhaps some of our Estonian readers can tell us.

Meanwhile – coming from the other end of the spectrum – TV broadcasters are trying desperately to catch up with UGC, even as the ex-Skype guys are trying to reproduce it online.

At the same as the Venice story is breaking, here in the UK Mint Digital is making hay both with its Bloombox.tv platform which is designed to allow broadcasters and advertisers to tap into the user-generated content movement with flash video, and now with Islandoo.com which The Independent is breathlessly describing as ‘an internet phenomenon to rival the social networking site MySpace. The FT quotes David Alberts, chairman of ad agency Grey London who says they make get the users – who all want to be on reality TV show Shipwrecked “to make their own Nokia ad or their own Clover ad.”

Now this sounds either like a sick joke from yet another marketing person who knows nothing, or a very clever idea, I haven’t quite decided yet.

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