Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel told us last spring that he didn’t want to depend on advertising to keep his lifecasting business afloat. Instead, he talked about a nebulous plans for “payment system” at the pioneering lifecaster founded by Justin Kan in 2006.
No one has figured out how to make a real business out of live streaming, so we were intrigued but confused. What did he mean? Now we know. And we’re still confused.
Starting today, Justin.tv will start broadcasting a live shopping channel shot in the New York studios of Talk Market, an online shopping service founded by former QVC execs and backed by Amazon.
The channel will be hosted by YouTube celebrity Christine Gambito, aka “Happy Slip” (pictured). Justin.tv has already begun promoting the service on some of its most popular channels, like The Jonas Brothers‘ (5.2 million cumulative views). Talk Market brings TV production and sales expertise; Justin.tv, 8.2 million monthly unique users. The two companies will split reveue.
Seibel assures us this is just the first of many commerce-related ventures coming this year. “We want to build television for the Web and television has a whole lot of business models,” he said. As of this writing, Justin.tv’s first live shopping channel is still dark, but some pre-recorded product demos give a sense of where it’s going:
Is that it? Seibel was talking about some very lofty plans last spring. So we were expecting something a little more revolutionary — not teleshopping on the Web. This isn’t even about allowing users to launch their own micro QVCs, though Siebel says that’s a possibility if the ecommerce channels pan out.
Then again, no one has figured out how to make real money from live streaming. In July, Los Angeles-based Stickam launched a beta version of a new pay-per-view service called PayPerLive.com (tagline: “Go Live, Get Paid”). That one gets points for being more interesting, but we’re not sure that it’s any more plausible. But at this point we’ll salute anyone who figures out how to make this medium anything but a money pit.
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photo: courtesy of HappySlip.com
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