Spike.com, the online counterpart to the cable TV network of the same name, is overhauling its site and adding original web series in its bid to become the dominant source of men’s entertainment online. The site’s strategy for capturing those eyeballs? Boobs and bad behavior.
The new series Spike will be launching include an “advertiser-friendly” collaboration with Playboy.com; a Jackass-inspired show called The Crew; MMA Girls, which combines hot women and mixed martial arts; and Cinemassacre, a new show from Angry Video Game Nerd-creator James Rolfe.
Spike.com will also add some better-late-than-never web 2.0 features like video embeds, ratings and sharing (which is kind of funny to think of — such a testosterone-fueled site promoting sharing). The site’s redesign is up now, but a Spike rep tells me all the “bells and whistles” won’t be up until tomorrow.
Will all this be enough to make Spike.com top dog in the crowded and competitive world of men’s video destinations? Sites like Heavy, RipeTV, Kush, Men7, Break (shall I go on?) are all desperately trying to cozy up to men through a combination of babes, extreme sports and video games. Spike has a leg up on those others with its television presence — but that could be a double-edged sword as it will have to run original video through standards and practices, which could neuter the more extreme content.
Interestingly, the site redesign still diplays the iFilm logo. Viacom (which owns Spike) bought iFilm back at the end of 2005 and the two merged into Spike.com last year. Is iFilm still that much of a draw?
Disclosure: I used to work for Viacom.