When online video site ManiaTV started out three years ago, it positioned itself as an aggregator of professional content. Then, with the rise of YouTube, the Denver, Colorado company, which raised $17 million in funding within a year of operating, jumped on the user-generated content bandwagon. Now, after finding that 80 percent of its viewers had been gravitating to the professional-based content, ManiaTV tells BusinessWeek that it’s getting back to its original model and will no longer traffic in UGC. So this week, when the channel relaunches, the 3,000 user videos it houses will disappear from the site. Rather than attempt to compete with Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) video sharing site, Peter Hoskins, the CEO of ManiaTV who took over from founder Drew Massey last year, encourages his site’s amateur videographers to find a new home for their works on YouTube.
The decision to jettison UGC wasn’t difficult for the company. Aside from viewers’ overwhelming attraction to professional video works versus UGC, ManiaTV’s advertisers were apparently always wary of the varying quality and unpredictable safety of appearing alongside videos uploaded by viewers. Meanwhile, marketers like chewing gum company Wrigley has actively partnered with ManiaTV on crafting branded content. Additionally, ManiaTV has produced actual commercials for marketers as well.