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blip city logoFormer broadcast-TV titan Fred Silverman is launching some kind of live-video, social-media thing called Blip City, PaidContent reports.

“This site will rock the entertainment world in the areas of mobile, online, TV and celebrity,” according to a job ad quoted by PaidContent.

Silverman isn’t giving details yet, but he promised that publicity for the site will begin by month’s end. Launch is slated for January.

PaidContent’s Andrew Wallenstein writes:

Blip City is something like in its intent to build a social network out of users who would live-stream content on subjects as varied as pets and music to offering a personal shopper for online retail.

Given the job ad’s focus on the “entertainment world” and “the areas of …TV and celebrity,” as well as Silverman’s history in television (he has been head of ABC, NBC and CBS), this sounds at best only slightly similar to Stickam, which has a mainly DIY focus. I wouldn’t be surprised if, say, Ashton Kutcher were to become involved with Blip City, with his own live-streaming channel. Twitter’s great and everything, but it doesn’t let users actually gaze upon Ashton’s visage. This would.

Wallenstein characterizes live streaming as having “exploded this year, with sites like Ustream, and Livestream experiencing astronomical growth. While their size is not on par with the likes of YouTube,” he writes, “they are scaling at a far faster rate as they build more sophisticated businesses heavy on mobile apps and self-publishing.”

If they’re scaling faster than YouTube is now, it’s almost beside the point. If any one of them were scaling faster than YouTube did in 2006, that would be something.

And where YouTube is filled with a dizzying array of content, including popular TV clips and Web memes that attract millions of viewers (many of whom watch again and again), a goodly portion of the channels on these streaming sites consist of an amateur talk show or a shot of somebody’s empty couch. The fact that the streams are live restricts their reach.

Still, the audience for streaming sites grew more than 600 percent in the year leading up to September, according to ComScore. And Silverman knows how to please viewing audiences, or at least he once did (he gave America “All in The Family,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Roots,” among many other huge shows.) This is purely speculative, but if he means to create loud celebrity buzz on Blip City, using actual celebrities (even third-tier ones), perhaps creating communities around them, he might at least have an advantage over the competition.

Silverman is working with Paul Wagner, a new media consultant who “creates live custom educational comedy for the Fortune 1000 and is currently working on a variety of entertainment projects as CEO, writer/producer, director, comedian and actor,” according to his Web site.


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