DivX shutters also-ran cat piano video site
Media player and format licensing outfit DivX has announced it will close down Stage6.com, its effort at a YouTube-style user-generated video site featuring cats playing piano, dogs on skateboards and mid-Western teenagers miming to Linkin Park.
The firm said it plans to cut the power on 28 February.
That gradient is bad news if you're not turning views into revenues.
A message posted on the front page of the site explains: "So why are we shutting the service down? Well, the short answer is that the continued operation of Stage6 is a very expensive enterprise that requires an enormous amount of attention and resources that we are not in a position to continue to provide."
DivX says it tried to sell the site, but failed.
Much of Stage6's content appears to be ripped from Japanese animé films and TV shows. Despite apparently having missed out on the cat piano demographic - user-generated video's raison d'etre - Stage6's traffic is actually growing, according to web analytics firm Compete.com (pictured).
Unfortunately, having failed to build a business model, that just means its costs are increasing without bringing in revenue. It's this thorny feature of fundamental economics that a lot of bandwidth-intensive web 2.0 services may come to appreciate over the next year or so.
Hosting and serving web video is indeed a very expensive pursuit, especially at the high definitions offered by Stage6. YouTube was lucky enough to be acquired relatively early in its lifespan by an unimaginably wealthy sugar daddy in Google. That ensured its survival and gave hope that someone might figure out how to sell it to advertisers.
So, so long Stage6, we barely knew you.
But don't worry - there are, of course, still dozens more near-identical sites desperate to spend their venture capital backers' money on providing you with free storage and playback of web video. Hurray! ®
What a bloody shame :(
I used Joox LOADS - it was perfect for some light relief during lunchtime at work. The DivX Web Player's one of the few ActiveX controls I actually wanted to install!
Between the free offerings, the DivX streaming video quality is unbeatable - just super smooth, crisp, with decent audio quality (YouTube's 64kbps audio just doesn't cut it any more!), and the desktop darkener was such a clever little touch.
I don't really think I'll be able to go back to YouTube :(
Right, now, who wants to secure some Round 1 VC funding for a high-quality, H264 & AAC-based, UGC-sourced video streaming site?
other sites have decent quality too
There are many other video sites out there that have much better quality than YouTube. I use others for the videos that I post for work.
They're all much better than YouTube for vids.
All this speak about H.264 being a part of Flash is all great and wonderful, but most of the user-generated video content on YouTube and such will probably never *ever* reach the superb quality that H.264 is capable of delivering. After all, they've got away with compressing everything to merry hell for some time now, and will probably continue to do so regardless of the codec in use.
Major websites sending YouTube-quality content gives people the impression that their connection can't do much better. Stage6 and the DivX codec actually showed the contrary, and did it well.
I trust that the people who complain about the DivX codec and Stage6 are the same sort of people who are still running System 7 and watching VHS tapes from 1991.