Internet Video is quickly becoming a the new hip medium for
quality niche television. While we have admittedly seen an influx of
poorly put together videos in the flurry of user generated content,
among them are a few that shine.
Over the past year we have seen hugely popular video
blogs & TV
series make their way online such as Rocketboom and
LonelyGirl15. Carving out a presence for a video channel or
takes a good understanding of web 2.0
One video blog which has risen to success using the web 2.0
Mobuzz.tv is a great success story and here I will look at
exactly how web 2.0 production values have created
a knock-out news show from a small studio in Madrid, Spain.
Mobuzz.TV – Overview
is a successful
daily Internet TV news digest filmed and produced in Madrid, Spain by a
small team of independent producers.
Led by producer and CEO Anil
Mobuzz launched some three years ago in 2004 and has managed to grow
and prosper while others have fallen by the wayside.
Producing an impressive two video podcasts a day, one in
the other in Spanish, Mobuzz has grown to be one of the most successful
international video blogs in the world.
This can be put down to a
number of factors that we might gather together under the banner of web
2.0 production values.
Each show has content suggested
by its viewers,
inspires a devoted community to add tens or even hundreds of comments,
and can be viewed on a frankly mind-blowing array of devices, from PSP
and ipod to 3G mobile phones and HD televisions.
as mobile phone content, the show quickly expanded into its current
video blog format and has never looked back since.
As such, Mobuzz.tv
as an excellent case study as to how dedication, a basic production set
up and a whole lot of web 2.0 knowhow can grow a tiny independent
production into a global business in the space of a few short years.
Judging by the choice of attractive female news readers,
quirky but web/tech-based content and slightly-geeky humor, I would
hazard that this
demographic falls somewhere in the 20-40 year old male geek ballpark,
but demographics are dangerous things.
Whoever they might be, the Mobuzz.tv audience plays an active
in commenting and submitting news stories to be covered, via the
community features that I look at in more depth below.
that the content that the viewers are delivered is in direct keeping
with the content that they want to see, which is not something that can
be said for a lot of the shows put out by mass media broadcasters.
Each show is a compact,
web-friendly five minutes
or less, and is generally filled with two to four short, snappy content
items along with interludes.
This is the perfect length for the web
both in terms of streaming technologies, downloads and the time that
people are willing to spend sitting in front of a video while surfing
Here is a YouTubeized example, which does the quality of the
real thing little justice:
One of the things I particularly like about the show is its
self-reflexivity and propensity to break the traditional ‘fourth wall‘
of illusion put up in regular newscasts and TV shows.
Very often the
camera will pan over to the production crew, or reveal behind the
scenes details that make it apparent that this is an independent
production being shot in a tiny studio by a small and dedicated team.
This gives Mobuzz.tv a human touch, whilst never breaking the high
quality production values that prevail throughout.
The clean, minimalist design of
everything right where it should be from the moment you first land on
With a clean logo and obvious, instantly identifiable
icons for language selection at the top of the screen, and the ability
to easily subscribe to the video feed or navigate to the archives clear
to see, the rest of the screen is rightfully devoted to the video,
along with the links for the currently playing episode.
Everything is uncluttered, functional and obvious within less
second, thanks to the use of pared-down navigation options, great
design and plentiful use of icons.
The key choices of subscribing to
the feed, checking the archives, changing language settings, watching
the video or downloading the content to my favorite device are all
evident right away. That can only be put down to careful thought and
The next level of content, that
around the Mobuzz.tv community, can be easily reached by scrolling
down. This makes perfect sense, given that those interested in leaving
comments, suggesting stories or logging into the community are likely
to be already engaged enough to check out the features underneath the
Essentially, then, core functionality is presented
optional community features within easy reach. This is a great way of
ensuring that both passive traffic and dedicated followers spend as
much time on the site as possible – both being given what they need
Content streaming is very fast,
especially considering the 16:9,
high-quality video on offer, and I found it to be a significant
improvement over that of YouTube, which invariably stalls at least once
on my current less-than-wonderful broadband connection.
Overall then in terms of usability, navigation and interface
design the Mobuzz.tv homepage is up there with the best of them.
The smooth video experience and
consistent, quality content obviously play an integral role in the
day-to-day success of Mobuzz.tv.
Nevertheless, it could be argued that the strong community built around
this core video component is of equal significance.
Mobuzz.tv is a company that understands the importance of
community-forging and interaction in the web 2.0 enterprise. Those that
have taken the time to sign up on the Mobuzz.tv site are rewarded right
from day one by being offered an active, participatory role in the
Tapping into the collective intelligence of its viewers
has set up a separate part of the website dedicated to the submission
and user rating of potential news items.
Replete with the personal
profile you would expect to find on any social network community
Newsroom 2.0 gives users the chance to pitch their story
ideas via text, images or video, interact with one another and make use
of a Digg-like
voting system, to propel the most popular stories to the top of the
Wisely, community goes even further
the inclusion and prominent sign-posting of the Mobuzz.tv presence
across the most popular web 2.0 community destinations.
Viewers are encouraged to check out the Mobuzz.tv Flickr,
presences, each of which are great ways to drive traffic and work on social
media marketing techniques.
Another point in favor of the Mobuzz.tv
approach is that of its impressive breadth of content delivery options.
The simple fact of the matter is that there are a growing number of
ways to watch video content, and that’s before you take into account
the different platforms being used to access it.
does a great job of covering its bases in more ways than one.
First of all each episode, in
addition to being accessible online in the web-favorite Flash Video
format, can also be downloaded to your computer or device in Windows,
and even (apple tv friendly) HD
which is a very impressive addition.
So, whether you are on a Mac or
Windows box, watching the show from your 3G mobile, or piping it to
your high-def television, Mobuzz.tv
has a download just for you. That is very forward thinking in my
opinion, and isn’t something I’ve seen anywhere else.
But there’s more. Because merely
supplying a range of formats is one thing, but
the next step is to provide a range of access points.
episodes are all up for grabs via RSS
syndication, which means that not only can you subscribe to
them in your favorite media-ready news
aggregator, but also that you can have the very latest shows
downloaded right to your computer using services like iTunes
In short Mobuzz makes it easy for
you to watch the
show wherever you like, on whatever device you like, and all without
ever having to worry about missing an episode thanks to the simplicity
More Web 2.0 Tricks and Tools
And there are still a few more
Web 2.0 tricks and tools that Mobuzz.tv has up its sleeve.
Crucially, each episode of the show is tagged. Tagging is as
part of the Web 2.0 landscape as ice is to the arctic, so it’s great to
see tags being effectively used to cross reference shows and add an
extra dimension to search.
By clicking on any one of the tag
keywords featured next to a Mobuzz.tv video, I am shown any and all
videos that feature this same tag. This provides an additional means by
which users can browse and search through the vast archives of shows
that span back as far as 2004.
What’s also cool is that
Mobuzz.tv makes use of Creative
the open, web-friendly, more sharing way to license your online work.
If you haven’t encountered the ideas behind the Creative Commons you
might want to check out the Robin Good team’s video
remix that fills you in on the details.
If you are already familiar with CC licensing, you will be
pleased to hear that Mobuzz.tv content is licensed under the Spanish
edition of the CC Attribution Non-Commerical Share-Alike license,
which affords users quite a degree of control over how they use
Mobuzz.tv content, including the ability to mash it up and remix it.
One final feature worth
mentioning is the inclusion of a bookmarklet
that will allow you to easily submit web content for future Mobuzz.tv
shows as you surf the web, at the click of a single button. This is a
great way of making it easy for Mobuzz.tv fans to feed into the ongoing
news content that makes it to the show.
Besides the consulting work
generated by Mobuzz.tv,
setting up vlogs and web video for corporate clients, the show does
well with a combination of advertising-based revenue streams.
Each show is sponsored and a very brief pre-roll video
for this sponsor runs prior to the commencement of the current
While I am not a huge fan of pre-roll advertising, the brevity
targeted geekiness of the ad-content doesn’t actually detract
significantly from the Mobuzz experience, and this brief imposition
seems like rather a good fit overall.
In-video advertising aside the
features a combination of image-banner ads and contextual text-based
ads, both supplied by Google. These are the stock-in-trade of blogs
across the planet, and I’m sure that they yield at least a reasonable
income for the producers of the show.
This seems like a winning combination for those looking to
their video regardless of how or where it is viewed on the one hand,
while adding an additional revenue-stream to the community content
built around the videos.
is an excellent
example of Internet television done the web 2.0 way. By investing as
much time in making its videos accessible as it has in producing solid,
daily content Mobuzz.tv
has managed to build a strong and loyal community.
And community is the key word here.
Because rather than leaving its viewers
out in the cold as a passive audience, Mobuzz.tv
succeeds in making them very much part of the production team.
start viewers are encouraged to become contributors, as to leave
comments on a show you must first sign in. Once you have set up your
account – which takes seconds – you now have the option of not only
commenting, but also suggesting, uploading and voting on user-submitted
news items for future shows.
Furthermore, in addition to this active viewer participation
there are a wealth of ways of accessing and viewing content – from RSS
syndication, subscription through popular services such as Democracy
and the ability to watch Mobuzz.tv
on devices that include the video iPod, PSP and even 3G mobile phones.
It isn’t just about making your viewer involved,
but also making it easy as possible for them to get their daily fix of
your content with a minimum of effort on their part. Mobuzz.tv
manages to achieve this on every level.
There has never been a better time to get involved on the
frontiers of video-blogging,
journalism and homegrown content production. Trailblazers
show how you can transform your small independent production into a
global business, and there is much to be learned from their approach to
web 2.0 style Internet video production.
Your fifteen minutes starts now.
If you would like to learn more about Mobuzz.tv, you might
want to check out the following links:
- The Mobuzz.tv
- Mobuzz CEO Anil
De Mello’s blog
coverage of Mobuzz.tv
Mac video interview with Anil De Mello
Ito for Blog.TV visits the Mobuzz.tv studio