GoTV Networks Developing Personal Online Media Sharing Service; iPhone Apps Coming

GoTV Networks, which produces videos about the music industry and others for both mobile and broadband networks, is getting close to launching a social media widget for sites like Facebook, where people can store and share videos, images, audio and text, mocoNews has learned. The application, called “Live From You,” will launch in beta soon for GoTV employees and a select group of others. We got a sneak peak Thursday at GoTV’s headquarters in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Here’s the details:

Live From You Widget: Users will upload media to the widget, which displays it in a chronological time line that can be categorized into albums. GoTV servers will store all of the content. The service will launch first on Facebook and then other social networking sites down the line. GoTV also developed a java client for the phone, so photos, videos and audio can also be uploaded from a device. The photos can be geo-tagged if the device supports GPS. Each widget will be personalized, and appear as “Live From (user’s first name).”

New Path For GoTV: CEO Thomas Ellsworth explains that the widget came about after the company and its board began looking at adding a user-generated component for fans, but quickly realized the amount of content would likely swamp GoTV’s staff with too much media, making it difficult to find the best clips and other media. With the widget, user-generated content won’t get thrown into the mix of professional content, which is still at GoTV’s core. Ellsworth likens it to an “accidental tourist” journey of sorts that lifted it through the “fog of user-generated content.”

Where’s The Money In User-Generated Content?: Ellsworth acknowledges that the big question is “how do we monetize this?” The answer is that the service will be ad-supported (and what isn’t these days?). When a user logs in to the widget, there is a button to show or hide “deals,” which can range from GoTV-produced promos to clips provided by labels and studios offering discounts on upcoming releases. Examples include a $2 off coupon for a new album or DVD and various promotional clips and snippets from music videos being marketed by labels and studios. GoTV will pull Facebook users’ interests and other data to better target deals. While in beta, there’s mostly placeholders for the ads, but once the audience picks up, GoTV wants to sell to more advertisers.

iPhone Apps Coming Soon: As we reported when the iPhone launched, GoTV is gearing up to launch three applications for the iPhone pegged around its music-magazine channels: Hip Hop Official, Rock On Altitude and ES Musica. All three of the apps have been approved by Apple and GoTV is expected them to launch within the next 10 days. The apps will cost 99 cents per download and feature ads. On Oct. 17, the company will make its first major push into country with a new channel called True Country, which will premiere first on Apple’s App Store.

Looking Ahead: The company now has 51 full-time employees. Ellsworth expects the company to outgrow its four-year-old studio within a year and hopes to land at a “more media-esque address” now that more artists are coming to them every week. Ellsworth sees advertising as its next major revenue stream that can pick up where subscriptions or white-label business might be dropping off. He said subscription services are expected to decline over the next few years and GoTV’s white-label service for Verizon’s VCast channels is flat.

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