Jeff Pulver’s OPENHulu: Prime Time Rewind


Finding a television show online requires a bit more effort than flipping through channels. You’ve got to know which network site to go to, navigate its terrible user interface, in some cases download a plug-in, and then finally start watching a show. Serial entrepreneur Jeff Pulver wants to make that simpler, so he’s founded and funded a company called Prime Time Rewind that aggregates all the network TV available online.

The site is essentially the same thing as OPENHulu, which used Hulu’s embed codes while the site itself was restricted to private beta users. Prime Time Rewind expands this idea to other network sites, like, by just putting a frame around the video. The site’s value-adds are social networking components (groan) and a conceptual user interface cube that can be used to rotate through networks and genres using simple gestures (see embed below; personally I found this frustrating, but maybe it works for you).

“If you want to watch something and you go to, it’s like seven or eight steps before you get there,” Pulver said in an interview yesterday. “If you go to us it’s one click.”

Pulver’s co-founder, Amit Shafrir, who was formerly president of premium services at AOL, is serving as CEO. Pulver did not disclose the amount of funding the company had raised but called it “a reasonable angel round” led by himself. He also added that he’s currently raising more. The company has 15 developers, according to Pulver.

“If we’re successful we will drive traffic to these network sites,” said Pulver. He said he anticipated making money on affiliate fees from iTunes and Amazon. I’m not convinced there’s an opportunity to form companies in order to repackage other people’s repackaging of other people’s content, but OPENHulu’s Matt Schlicht told us he’s trying to do the same thing.

Pulver had previously launched a guide to Internet television called Network2, which never took off. The site is still live, he said, but “I shifted my priorities around to focus on the commercial side of things rather than the long-tail side of things.”


Steve Elbows

Wow, I thought network2 was bad, he has managed to top that. The cube made me laugh a lot.

Average ideas, badly executed. And network2 vanished for ages, replaced by ‘we are upgrading your experience’ spin. Have they just switched it back on again so they dont have to admit what a huge failure it was?

OK I’ll admit, I am bitter from the early days. They took indie content without talking to the creators, and had an extremely arrogant attitude when challenged, talking about how their promotion of peoples shows would get them huge audiences. Pulver seemed to be dreaming of being the next media mogul. Of course it never happened because network2 provided no added value for creators or viewers, and as far as promotion goes, they are only good at hyping themselves. I concluded that many idie net shows could use the help of a large and effective promotion machine, but Pulver has none of the answers in that regard.


This is terrible. Why do so many people think social networking needs to be tied into everything? It doesn’t. Stop trying to make it fit. This is the slowest loading thing ever and I don’t even get how to navigate it. This won’t go anywhere, waste of funding, no business model.


Someone please send this boy to a UI 101 class. Stayed on the site for less than 2 mins. NO thanks.


Someone please give me a magnifying glass! And it’s S L O W. Creative approach, yet terribly executed UI. Next….

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