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No other startup on Vator.tv has sparked as much debate about its business model among our community as NowLive.com.
The company, which was launched in March, 2007, has already signed up 60,000 users who use its technology platform to broadcast their own live shows via the Web.
The NowLive.com community, which includes LA Weekly columnist and entertainment news blogger Nicky Fink and America's Top Model winner Adrianne Curry, is producing about 10,000 shows per month.
We first wrote about the company as an example of startups that are working to turn the entertainment industry's business model into a relic of the past. That was after some of its most loyal users began posting comments to the company's Vator.tv pitch in support of NowLive.com's participation in our Demand Media Competition.
The interactive broadcasts allow viewers to participate via text chat or by calling in to the host, much like live radio call-in shows do. That feature is one reason the platform has proved popular among radio stations. Striking Hollywood writers are using the company's platform to broadcast a live show -- including a feed from the picket lines -- three times a week.
Still, some members of the Vator.tv community have pointed out in comments posted to the company's pitch that NowLive.com's business model isn't very defensible. Others have had questions about the management team.
To get answers to those questions, we invited NowLive.com CEO and founder Kevin Bromber into the Vator.tv studio in San Francisco for a lengthy sit-down.
In a four-part interview, Bromber and I discussed everything from what he calls "social broadcasting" to the future of Internet media to NowLive.com's soon-to-be released Facebook application, which will allow NowLive.com members to simulcast their shows on their Facebook page.
In this first part of our discussion, Bromber explains that while his company does sell static ads that run during the broadcasts, the company's revenue model is based on partnering with traditional media companies that want a branded, live, interactive Web capability.
"We've identified the good business model and we're ready to go to market," said Bromber, who previously founded 3D Greetings.com, which was sold to toy giant Mattel in 1999.
Sony Pictures used NowLive.com last month to Webcast the red-carpet premiere event for its movie, "Walk Hard." NowLive.com, based in Calabasas, Calif., near Los Angeles, did the same thing for an awards party after the 2007 Emmy Awards in September.
"We've identified the traditional media companies as good potential customers," said Bromber, who on the day we spoke to him was in San Francisco meeting with several such companies (which he declined to name).
Bromber said their primary customers will be radio stations, TV outlets and film companies, who now pay many times what NowLive.com charges for a live, interactive Web presence.
NowLive.com has raised a $1.5 million seed round and is now looking to raise another $2 million, Bromber told me.
Look for more of our discussion with NowLive.com later this month.
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