Time Inc. is further bolstering its online video efforts, unveiling a new weekly program called "Sports Illustrated," available exclusively through its partner Net2TV's Portico TV service.
Like other recently-launched Time programs that are part of a broader deal with Portico TV (including "The Week in TIME," "PEOPLE This Week," "Cooking Light," "Southern Living," and "Inside Golf Magazine"), Sports Illustrated curates previously-released, shorter-form videos into a full-length program professionally hosted by one of the respective magazine's personalities.
Expanding on their existing partnership, Bonnier, one of the largest U.S. magazine publishers, and Net2TV, a startup connected-TV media company, will create 30-minute TV programs for Bonnier titles "Cycle World" and "Saveur." The companies have also renewed the current "Popular Science" program. All of the programs are built by curating short-form videos into shows that are available on Net2TV's Portico TV service, on millions of connected TVs.
As I've written in the past, Net2TV's model is to create ad-supported TV-like experiences using high-quality short-form videos from branded partners. The videos are curated and assembled into 30, 60 and 90-minute programs, often accompanied by hosts who help create a narrative. The programs are typically updated on a weekly basis for now, with more frequent updates planned in the future. The Portico service is delivered from the cloud, accelerating the scaling of its integration with multiple connected TVs and devices.
Net2TV is announcing this morning that its Portico service will be available on Roku in June and that it is enabling dynamic ad insertion. Portico, which I last wrote about here, curates and packages short-form content into longer-form, TV-style programs, for viewing on connected TVs. Portico uses the ActiveVideo CloudTV platform with a thin client, which means it can be deployed and updated quickly on connected devices.
Scan comScore's monthly rankings of top video properties and one of the interesting things you'll notice is that aside from maybe one or two TV networks' sites, those with the heaviest traffic (e.g. YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, VEVO, Facebook, etc.) specialize in short-form content.
What this means is that unlike traditional TV - which features 30 and 60 minute programs (if not longer) - in online video many viewers' experiences consist of cobbling together numerous shorter clips, requiring them to repeatedly make a choice of what to watch next. The reality is that in online video there is little actual "programming" or "scheduling" that happens - where human beings actually create and curate a flow of programs designed to keep the viewer in place for longer (and more monetizable) periods of time.
Recognizing this deficiency - and the proliferation of Internet-connected TVs - a new service launching today called Portico, from startup Net2TV, aims to package, or cluster by genre as "mosaics," certain online videos, to create a more TV-like experience for viewers. Portico's service, which is available initially on Philips SmartTVs in the U.S. presents mosaics featuring either a specific content provider, or multiple providers. In the former example, CBS Interactive's CHOW.com has its own mosaic, whereas the "Portico Tech" mosaic includes content from Discovery's Revision 3 and Bonnier's Popular Science.