Internet TV service, Babelgum, has announced that former Vodafone Global Director of Networks and Service Platforms, Valerio Zingarelli, has been appointed CEO. Zingarelli takes over from co-founder, Erik Lumer, who will remain with the company to focus on “strategic product development”. As part of the announcement, Babelgum also laid out its plans for the next nine to twelve months in which the company will concentrate on acquiring more content, so as to grow its user-base and begin to attract advertisers.
In our previous coverage of Babelgum, we compared the service to Joost, with both products based on similar p2p technology and aiming to combine the “lean-back experience” of television with the interactivity of the web. However, Babelgum appears to be focusing less on mainstream content, and instead intends to exploit the ‘long tail’ by helping content producers reach niche audiences.
Today’s press release, further confirms this strategy, with Babelgum saying that the next phase will see it:
building up a sufficient amount of good quality content to be able to offer its viewers enough variety and choices to cover most peoples’ individual passions and interests. This target will be achieved combining the direct acquisition of content with the automatic upload by independent content owners.
What we don’t yet know is how open the upload process will be. What criteria will Babelgum set, in terms of who can get their content onto the platform? And while it’s unlikely that they’ll want to venture into the free-for-all territory of YouTube, if the company wants to achieve its ambition of providing enough choice to cater for “most peoples’ individual passions and interests”, they’ll need to make the process as frictionless as possible.