By Sahil Patel
Blip, an online video site that offers independent web-series creators and producers a chance to distribute their stuff, could be closing its doors soon.
In the past couple of weeks, Blip, which is currently owned by Maker Studios, has been sending emails to its community of users that hint at a possible closure. “We noticed that you’re still uploading a considerable amount of content to Blip.TV,” reads the note from Jeff O’Connell, SVP of technology at Maker Studios. “Blip is now part of Maker Studios, which is now part of Disney, and we’re unsure how long Blip will accept new content. We suggest that you find an alternative hosting platform as expediently as possible.”
Multiple sources believe that Maker is likely to shut down Blip within the the year, though others caution that no such discussions have taken place. The company has certainly not made any formal announcements on the matter.
That said, there are several indications — in addition to O’Connell’s message — that Blip’s video site is not long for this world.
Last May, TechCrunch reported that Blip was deleting user accounts without any notice. The last tweet from the official Blip account was exactly one year ago. A source also tells VideoInk that a significant majority of the Blip employees that came to Maker Studios after the acquisition have since departed.
Maker bought Blip in late 2013, when the YouTube network was still independent and not a subsidiary of a media giant. Back then, a lot of the industry chatter was about businesses that were built on YouTube seeking ways to create revenue beyond the world’s biggest video site. (Oh, how times have not changed.) Blip had a video player and technology — as well as distribution partnerships — that Maker could use to build and launch owned-and-operated destinations across a variety of platforms. And Maker has done exactly that, with Maker.TV as the chief example.
But while Blip provided Maker with services and tools that its network did not have at the time, Maker had no real incentive to support the Blip.TV platform and community. This can be seen in what Blip.TV look likes today, which bears only a passing resemblance to the site it was prior to the acquisition.
During a recent keynote session, Maker president Ynon Kreiz described how his company had two major goals going forward: supporting and growing its talent network, and making premium short-form videos for Disney. Neither truly require Blip.TV, which means that the site could soon go dark, a casualty of the landmark Disney-Maker acquisition.
We’ve contacted Maker for comment, and will update accordingly.