Watercooler’s TVLoop is a TV entertainment product, which lives as an application on users social networking profiles. The application serves as both fan content (pics, trivia, quotes) and video distribution platform. Their other product, is FanSection, which is a sports fan application that can be installed to your profile.
In October, Watercooler announced their partnership with Hulu, increasing their TV offering by 40 more shows. Earlier this month, they had another major announcement; Watercooler is going to roll up all their video under one site, TVLoop.com. The distribution network will continue to exist.
This is a very interesting move given most media companies are trying to move away from a single destination model and trying to become major distribution networks across the Internet to meet the needs of a fragmented audience and extend reach (a point stressed multiple times in Razorfish’s Consumer Experience Report). Watercooler is trying to take this massive distribution network with 15 million registered users and now drive them to a single destination.
Do content companies need a single destination or can they exist as a decentralized entity? From a branding perspective, I think it is important for Watercooler’s TVLoop to have a central hub where users can go to see all of its offerings, but I do not think it is completely necessary if the network already exists.
For new media companies I think it is very important to understand content distribution from the very beginning. The Internet is extremely fragmented and it is very difficult to try and drive an audience to a new destination. The most successful media companies understand they need to find an audience where that audience already exists – social networks are a great place to start. It will be very interesting to see how TVLoop begins to drive people to TVLoop.com, and ultimately how their dot com audience compares to their network of registered users of the TVLoop social application.