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VideoJug Bottles One-Stop Shopping

Jun 4, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Joining the roster of television executives moving to digital companies, veteran producer Peter Schankowitz is spearheading online video venture VideoJug.
Based on a successful U.K. site with the same name, VideoJug features 15,000 nonfiction short films on subjects ranging from how to change a tire to what cancer patients can expect during chemotherapy.
“It’s the definitive encyclopedia for life,” said Mr. Schankowitz, its CEO and executive producer, who left his position as president of worldwide development at Vin Di Bona Productions to join the company in January. “We want to become the one-stop repository for all online video.”
VideoJug is among the companies rushing to produce Web video as marketers’ demand for advertising opportunities connected to Web video outstrips supply.
Unlike user-generated depositories such as YouTube, almost all VideoJug content is produced by the company and shot in high-definition. Most of the videos are how-to topics taught by experts. Current popular titles include “How to Eat Sushi,” “How to Fold a Shirt in 2 Seconds” and “How to Undo Her Bra With One Hand.” The site also features more serious topics, such as prominent physicians giving advice about treating various ailments.
The videos can be viewed online or downloaded to portable devices such as mobile phones and iPods.
Mr. Schankowitz hopes the site’s professionally produced videos will attract advertisers who are put off by the mish-mash of amateur content elsewhere.
“I don’t know how you monetize a guy playing with his foot, but if you’re a bank and you have your ad on a mortgage advice video, you’re probably being seen by somebody who’s in the market for a mortgage,” he said.
Mr. Schankowitz joins former television executives such as Herb Scannell, Andrew Heyward, Lloyd Braun and Jordan Levin who have joined or lent their names to online ventures. Mr. Schankowitz said he has found growing an online business more rewarding than “banging on the door of MTV to sell another dating show.”
“We could really impact people’s lives for the better,” he said.
The U.S. site was launched with $30 million in financing raised in the U.K. In the past three months, the Los Angeles office has grown from two employees to 50 as the group has worked overtime to produce 11,000 new videos.

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