Charlie Rose, the reigning king of intellectual late-night conversation, today relaunched his web site.  Not just a redesign, it is the introduction of hundreds of new, short-form video clips edited from thousands of hours of on-air interviews. In cutting down the clips to around two minutes, Charlie has been edited out of many we’ve watched.  While Charlie Rose is the very best interviewer on television, we think it’s important in Web video for the subjects to speak for themselves. 

In surfacing the videos, the site employs a Flash photo slide show.  This is an unconventional way to surface video.  We think it is very effective. There is an extraordinary wealth of videos up on the site.  I’ve posted one of our favorites, Neil Young, at the bottom of this post.

Although Rose is the king of the airwaves, TED Talks is a big success in the online video space for wonkish online video.  I am told by a spokesperson for TED that some 50 million videos have been viewed.  Compete says TED had about 350,000 unique visitors last month. 

The big numbers for these sites, as well as related ones such as and BigThink and Beet.TV, are the number of videos which are streamed  via embed codes and through other sites including YouTube — and downloaded via iTunes.

Case in point, while had just 60,000 uniques in October according to Compete, it had well over 1 million video views, Beet.TV has learned.  Beet has about 50,000 uniques and streams about 150,000 videos per month.

We are interested to see how these video sites are being redesigned to surface more content in attractive and effective user interfaces.  BigThink, the start-up launched earlier this year by former Charlie Rose producers, has a redesign in public Beta which it will launch soon.  And, just last week, Beet.TV launched its redesign.  (Comments please below or to me at andy(at) are much appreciated.)

In April in Washington, I sat down with Matt Rutherford, Rose’s web
strategist, for an overview of the big project.  Matt was a speaker at
the Beet.TV Online Video Roundtable in Washington.  I’ve republished our interview here.   

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer