D7TV May Be The Next MTV For Mobile Content

While the major networks are trying to repurpose shows that work well on TV, D7TV is starting from scratch. The company wants to be “the” channel for mobile content and has already started producing shows before there is an actual distribution channel.

D7TV is currently filming short movies for their Web site, and by short we mean less than three minutes each. The plan is to build up an audience so that if and when mobile video subscriptions become commonplace, D7TV will be a brand consumers demand. ABI Research predicts that there will be at least half a billion subscribers to mobile video worldwide by the year 2011. So why not be ready?

D7TV was started by Michael O’Rourke, who also founded a projection media company 10 years ago called Dimension 7. O’Rourke calls Dimension 7 a “video band” because they filmed DJ dance events and made animation movies to stream online.

“In the early days all of our shows were netcast so we would actually send out both the video and audio stream,” O’Rourke said in a phone briefing on Tuesday. “We were obviously way too early in thinking that the Internet would be used as a distribution medium for video but now we’re at that point and online video is on everybody’s mind and we’re looking more towards mobile phones as our next platform.”

Party Crashers is one of D7TV’s more popular new shows. It is a tongue-in-cheek look at Silicon Valley social events. Sarah Meyers, host of the show, made a cameo at Monday night’s Google press party but press reps asked the crew to turn off their cameras before they could get much footage.

“We’re developing a whole series of programs early and the great thing about this medium is that it’s relatively low production cost compared to traditional television,” O’Rourke said.

D7TV is not to be compared with YouTube or VodPod or any other social video sharing site because they are uninterested in user-generated video. They make it, you watch it. That’s how it works.

Also, D7TV wants very little to do with the actual distribution of its content. O’Rourke said he will leave that to the pros, meaning he’ll let the mobile carriers decide how content is delivered.

Right now, D7TV content may be a little too edgy for the mainstream. Go to the site and you’ll know what I mean. But that doesn’t mean it won’t work. If mobile video becomes staple entertainment, it will be necessary to have a network that has flushed out a successful mobile video equation.

In the meantime, D7TV needs to work on its Web site. It isn’t very well organized but more like a hodgepodge of everything that the company is working on. At first glance, it looks like it isn’t meant for anyone Generation X or older.

“We’re putting it out there now just to sort of get critical feedback from people,” O’Rourke said. “There are a lot of user interface issues and one of them is how you find valuable content online.”