A lot of online video platforms have disappeared over the years. Now it looks like one — while not shutting down — is having a pretty brisk spring clean. Blip, the video distribution startup acquired by Maker Studios (which is now itself getting acquired by Disney), has been sending out notices to many users telling them that their accounts are getting closed.
That’s on top of the fact that it’s currently not accepting new producers.
Blip — which lets producers upload, distribute and monetize their video content — suggests in the note sent to some current users that they upload videos to YouTube and apply to join the Maker RPM network there.
The full note, posted on Instagram by producer Schlomo Rabinowitz, is below.
This is not a closure of Blip per se, but a decision by Blip to shut down accounts that it deems were violating its terms of service, or simply were not active enough.
“Blip isn’t shutting down. We’re just closing more accounts as part of our effort to focus the library,” in the words of Jeff O’Connell, an SVP of technology at Maker Studios and Blip.
We have reached out to Blip and Maker to ask for more details about what is going on, and are still waiting to hear back. It looks like we are not the only ones. A quick search on Twitter finds a number of other producers noting they’ve also been bounced, with little direct explanation about what’s happening.
Closure or not, there have been rumors for a while, it seems, that Maker was planning to shutter Blip eventually. But in the meantime, there have been other developments that seem to point to Blip — if not closing down — getting less attention than in the past.
Maker earlier this month launched Maker.tv, its own streaming platform that sits independent of YouTube and will be the home for original and “exclusive” content from its pool of producers.
It’s largely thought that Maker.tv was built on some of the assets that Maker acquired with Blip — which in an earlier incarnation had try to position itself as a viable YouTube alternative, before it pivoted into a distribution network that helped put videos on to YouTube, along with other sites.
In the meantime, while Blip the site is up and running, it seems to be somewhat on autopilot. The company’s blog has not been updated in three months, and one of the last entries invites users to “follow our sister blog [at Maker Studios] for more shenanigans.” Of the two people who ran the blog, one now describes himself as a VP of product at Maker, and the other works elsewhere.
The Twitter account for blip also stopped getting updated in February — save for one reply, earlier today, suggesting someone with a question about collecting revenues on his videos contact Blip support.
While Blip may have had a hard run competing against the size of YouTube, Maker’s producers collectively generate billions of online views monthly, and it seems like Maker realised it could capitalise on that with its own platform, Maker.tv, that it could better control its revenue generating destiny, with no cut to YouTube’s owner Google — or other platform providers, for that matter. Or, using Blip’s distribution technology, better control the whole distribution chain.
It will be interesting to see what Maker does longer term with its culled-down Blip producer pool and catalogue of videos. One possibility is that they get migrated to the Maker platform too.