TiVo came along and is helping kill the idea of a TV time slot. The growth of on demand online video has been helping finish the job. Cozmo.Tv wants to create a TV 2.0 by changing the way you consume online video from a random walk to personalized content. Next week at Always On, they will officially announce the new embeddable video widget they’ve been working on for the past couple of months. The widget functions like an online TV, streaming channels of personalized video content based on the initial preferences set by the widget publisher and the preferences of the viewer.
Publishers seed their widget with the initial channels by adding explicit RSS feeds to video sites or keyword searches run on Cozmo’s video index. Basing channels off of feeds means that a widget can be set up and forgotten, adding content to its channels as new shows appear in the feed. At launch the indexed sites will include videos from YouTube and Blip.tv, but will expand to include Google Video, MySpace, Brightcove, and Break.com. Eventually publishers will also be able to seed their widget with relevant channels by having Cozmo analyze their personal blog or profile page (where most widgets will be installed). The one below is pulling CBS’s YouTube clips along with some others, including a channel of videos you’d find by searching YouTube for kittens.
On the viewers end, you can surf over channels or shows and rate them. When you’re signed in, Cozmo tracks how you rate shows and then will suggest the shows on that channel rated highly by other viewers similar to you in voting history and demographic.
Cozmo wants to eventually move beyond viral video sites after scaling up the service. They are logging 25,000 uniques to their site each month, but want the upcoming widget to be their main form of distribution. The widget is designed to be a self contained version of Cozmo’s entire offering, allowing users to sign up for accounts, rip the code for the current player, or create their own.
The hope is that after building up a network of these widget players, they’ll serve as a direct distribution parter for content creators. Creators and affiliates who distribute the content will get revenue shares of contextual banner and interstitial video ads served on the player.
Readers interested in customized online video channels should check out SplashCast’s RSS-based multimedia player, MeeVee’s personalized online video guide, Blinkx’s Blinkx It widget, and of course Joost.