I recently received an email from Blip.tv (one of the services that I use to host video on the web) reminding me that they are no longer supporting distribution to iTunes for videos uploaded to their service. It’s one of many changes that Blip has made in recent years to gain an advantage over competing video services by emphasizing their own site as a destination. I also recently noticed that Blip.tv (after being acquired by Maker Studios) closed their service to new accounts.
The advantage of having viewers watch video on a particular video host’s site (or at the very least via that video host’s player) lies in the fact that said video host can then insert advertisements that earn the host (and hopefully the video producer) revenue. So Blip’s recent change is very much about boosting engagement with ads by viewers. This also limits distribution options for content producers. This leads to the question: What business is Blip really in? Are they providing tools so that web video producers can build a following for their shows? Or are they a vehicle for brands to advertise? With the recent changes the answer is obviously the latter.