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Video Sites Shakeout: ManiaTV Shuts Down, Finally; PluggedIn Could Not Be Saved By Men in Black

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
If by the end of this year, about 95 percent of the independent video sites left at the end of 2008 shut down, well, that would be an optimistic figure. Two more casualties this week. After much trying with reorg, layoffs and attempts to sell, ManiaTV has shut down operations, according to Mediawek, citing first hand sources. This despite its stated intention to sell as soon as last week. The staff was informed of the site's closure on Monday (March 2). ManiaTV's core investors, Comerica Bank, chose to eliminate the company's line of credit, both as a result of economic crisis and Mania's own worsening ad business.

Then PluggedIn, an online music video site launched just 11 months ago and had no reason to exists even then, has run out of its reason to continue: it is closing down according to a reports in TC. The site launched, touting HD music videos, in April last year, with about $2 million in venture funding from Will Smith's entertainment company, Overbrook Entertainment and others. The company ran out of money after negotiations for a $2.5 million second round fell through last second. The company is currently seeking buyers for the company's technology and team for a price of around $3 million, its cost till now, but I doubt even that could be achieved. Even then I mentioned that any decent music destination site, especially from bigger sites like Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), MySpace, MTV, YouTube and others will eventually add HD and competing against then on a sliver of a functionality (which is not even owned by it, but was using Move Networks' HD tech) doesn't make a company. And now with music labels talking among themselves and Universal and YouTube talking among themselves about all kinds of music video sites, well, goodbye to even more such sites.

So yes, well, the mania's over in online video, finally


By Rafat Ali