Hey Rizzn-ites,

Yeah, you wouldn’t think I’d actually be a member of the Current.TV website, what with my creeping disdain for almost all things Al Gore (which, incidentally, is one of the many things that makes me averse to Apple products – he’s on their board of directors).

But believe it or not, I actually think (and have thought for quite a while) that Current.TV was a fairly decent business model, and one likely to succeed in this transition period between New Media and Old Media. So, like a good little video content producer, some time a couple years ago, I signed up for an account. Unfortunately (for Current.TV, any way), they require that all submitted content be exclusive to Current – I wanted to have distribution rights over my content. I never actually submitted anything past their first refusal (based on my distribution demands).

All that to say, I got an email from Mr. Gore’s folks saying that they have created a “brand spankin’ new private beta” for me to preview. Here’s what Mr. Gore’s email told me to expect:

  • Explore cool stuff from the Web submitted by people like you
  • Add things of your own and share them with your friends
  • Watch and influence the full line-up of programming from Current TV
  • Join the conversation … with your keyboard or your webcam!

I remember last time I was there, most of the content was some good lookin’ Google stuff, I think some Yahoo shorts, and a bunch of conspiracy nuts talkin’ about how 9/11 was an inside job, and how we’re all going to die from global warming.

At least the content has shifted a bit. No longer is Mr. Gore’s baby a bastion of leftist thinking. The two second tier feature videos upon logging in are a couple of dudes railing against the “hoax of global warming.” The number one feature is a video about how Charlize Theron is now “officially the number one sexy babe of the universe.”

Hello, democratized video. You are here, and you are teh sex.

In all honesty, the quality and content of the site has radically changed. It’s the design sense of Veoh applied to the political community of YouTube. You feel highbrow browsing around, until you actually click play. Then you realize you’re playing in the kiddie pool in terms of intellectual content.

The question on your mind is likely the real question on my mind, when I got to the site: do they still pay for content? This is what the producer FAQ says:

We will still pay for full-length pods, V-CAMs and Current Promos:

Pod prices will be negotiated on a per-piece basis.

V-CAM submissions are paid a flat rate of $1000 per V-CAM chosen for Current TV. If your V-CAM does air on Current and the sponsor of your V-CAM wants to show it in other places beyond Current TV, you’ll get anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000, depending on where they show it:

  • Internet (other web sites besides): $5,000
  • Cable or satellite television (other than Current TV or any cable or satellite television network owned or controlled by Current TV): $10,000
  • Network television: $15,000
  • Any other medium (theatrical trailer, public billboard, sporting event jumbotron, etc.: $20,000

Promos are purchased for a flat rate of $250 per promo.

If you’re a serial content producer, and your stuff is a notch above your typical YouTube fare, I’d suggest creating some exclusive content for Current. Couldn’t hurt. Let me know how successful you are in terms of getting played, though. Keep in mind this is a company run by Al Gore’s people, so while they may allow content on the website from the right wingers, if you don’t fit into the socialism-for-America camp on anything political you produce, don’t expect to get put on TV.

/rizzn

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