Buoyed by the overall growth in video RSS feeds, Web video service Channels.com is releasing a new version of its service today that indexes four times as many Web shows as it did just four months ago, the company said.
In a telephone call with Channels CEO Sean Doherty today, he explained to me how the increasing usage of video RSS is enabling syndication services like his to index and track more Web video.
Video RSS is similar to RSS for text blogs; you simply subscribe to a video just like you to do a blog. But the video RSS also is what lets other services syndicate and push out video content, he said. Major media companies have been adding video RSS feeds in the last several months, which is aiding the growth of Channels, he said.
From an industry perspective, the number of video RSS feeds on the Web has grown by 200 times in the last two years to nearly 200,000 video feeds today, Doherty told Beet.TV. "During that time, just about every major Web site has launched extensive collections of video RSS feeds including: YouTube, MySpace, Yahoo, Blinkx, MTV, CNN, Nickelodeon, ABC and many others," he said.
As for today's product release, Channels bills the service as akin to a DVR but for Web shows, even though it doesn't technically record the shows. This latest iteration of the service indexes more than 160,000 Web shows, including both clips and full-length versions of TV shows, such as "Family Guy" and "SNL." Doherty told me he predicts Channels will be indexing more than 2 million shows within a year.
Channels is essentially a reach and frequency play for Web shows, VideoNuze explains.
Channels will face competition from other sites that aim to organize the video Web, such as Blinkx, which has been growing in use recently and also OVguide.com, a popular site for finding Web video. Also, Channels.com will likely look to ad revenue as the business model.
That won't be easy as thousands of sites and shows are aiming for a relatively small pie when it comes to online video ad dollars. Media agency Magna projects the Web video business will draw $699 million this year.
Doherty spoke to Beet.TV earlier this year about how the company's video RSS feeds can increase viewership. We have republished the video today.
-Daisy Whitney is a senior producer with Beet.TV
Update: In another development in video aggregation, Andrew Baron's Mag.ma has gone live.