Blacktv247.com is self-described as being ” the single largest internet destination exclusively focused on Black inspired programming”. After spending a good amount of time on this site, it has some definite potential. The channels range from your typical Sports, Music Videos, Comedy and TV to some intriguing channels such as Education, Business and Lifestyle. There is even a very current Haiti Relief channel which shows that this site has an eye towards pertinent current events. The website has a player built in so everything is web based and easy to share via all the major social networks. They have scoured over 100,000 hours of video clips that relate to African American culture. They have clips from back in the 1960’s and some from just a few days ago. The position that blacktv247.com is taking in the media world is the space between the mainstream broadcast television and the hidden videos that are found on YouTube. It simply aggregates them all in one place similar to sites we’ve covered in the past like BlackBottom.com.
The parent company of Blacktv247.com is BTV247 Inc, which is based in Playa del Rey, California. Additional properties in the BTV247 Inc portfolio include BTV Productions and Best of Blacktv247.com. The two founders of BTV247 Inc are Justin Beckett (a Telly award-winning writer and producer who also launched Fluid Music in 2004 which has become one of the largest distributors and aggregators of independent music) and Cecil Cox (an Emmy-nominated producer and former senior executive of Mundy Lane Entertainment, Denzel Washington’s production company).
Within the website, there is an option to submit any video that a content owner wants to include in the programming for Blacktv247.com. Although this option is currently invitation only, this could become a viable resource for entrepreneurs, independent musicians, fledgling comedians and other people to spread the word about their work. Similar to how stars have been born on youtube, this could be another medium to engage and embrace. Note that once you submit content to the site, it still remains your property and there is no exclusivity which is a good thing for people trying to spread the word about their work.
The interface for site is very slick and smooth. Load times were a bit slow at random times, but the site is still in beta, so we can assume load times will continue to improve. The site aggregates videos from numerous different sources such as Hulu.com, YouTube, Current TV and others. There is old school footage of a Dr. Martin Luther King interview from 1967, a funny interview of Muhammed Ali, a classic In Living Color skit and a great look at some black entrepreneurs in a BE Next Segment. If the site looks vaugely familiar to you it might be because you’re thinking of a video search engine called Blinkx.com. Blinkx does have an API where certain partners can integrate their technology into their own site. No word on if this is the case with Blacktv247.com. Blacktv247 also appears to be taking a similar business model as blinks which relies on advertising and focuses on distributing and syndicating content through large partners like Yahoo, Microsoft, and many others.
Check out Blacktv247.com, what are your thoughts?