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Videoclip websites give TV a run for its money

Videoclip websites give TV a run for its money

The value of competitive videoclip websites, such as YouTube, MySpace and Clipstar, has soared in recent years, swelling to a current market of £5bn in Europe and $21bn in the US.

Websites like clipstar.com, an ad-funded site capitalising on the public's appetite for TV talent shows, are at the heart of this and present an increasing challenge to traditional media.

A 216-second clip of a Canadian girl dancing with a hula-hoop on clipstar.com is estimated to be costing the worldwide TV and traditional media markets $222,480, according to a report by MediaTel. This breaks down to $1,030 a second, a figure unheard of a decade ago.

People like the Canadian girl dancing are being dubbed video "clipstars" giving Clipstars.com its name.

Eren Ozagir, marketing director of Clipstar.com, said spending on online advertising is growing between 30% to 60% according to research. By 2009, it is predicted to outstrip television advertising spend in the UK by up to £3.5bn, with the rest of the world not far behind.

Ozagir said: "We all know about the huge audiences that the current generation of TV talent shows attract, and where the huge audiences are there are huge advertising budgets.

"However, the world's population is changing the way it sources entertainment, with more and more people watching it online."

Globally, 1bn people have high quality and regular internet access. An average person in the UK spends 164 minutes a day online getting information and entertainment, and 148 minutes watching TV.

In Europe, people spend 240 minutes a week online with 180 minutes watching TV, while in the USA, around 70% of the population spends 14 hours a week online -- the same amount of time as they do watching TV.

Ozagir said Clipstar has been tailor-made to serve the massive worldwide undiscovered talent base, aiming to make somebody very famous, very quickly.

He said: "It will become the new entertainment standard alongside music stars, TV stars and film stars."

He said although sites like MySpace and Bebo have millions of members, they are for amateurs.

"Sites like Clipstar.com are used by people who really do want to get on, who want to be famous and who will use all their talent and means at their disposal to get their face or talent in front of somebody who can actually make them stars.

"Clipstars is purpose-made to showcase talent, and then introduce the best to talent agents who can genuinely progress their careers.” It currently hosts more than 1,500 videos.

Subscribers upload their videoclips into one of the nine categories: "singing or music", "band or group", "dance", "models or fashion", "comedy", "acting", "director or film", "animation" or "any other". There are no judges and the viewing public is able to vote for free.

Clipstars runs quarterly competitions for each category, with a prize of $10,000. They will then be entered into the grand final at the end of the year, in which participants stand a chance of winning $1m.

On April 30, the nine category winners will each win $10,000 and be guaranteed a place in the Clipstar.com final. Manchester-based indie rock band International One received $10,000 in January after winning the most votes for the best band category.

Voting for the winner of the grand final starts on November 1, and the winner is declared on December 31.


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