5 Questions With…Blip.tv’s Dina Kaplan


Today we continue our Five Question series with noted industry heads, and up on the block is Dina Kaplan. Dina is a co-founder of blip.tv who also serves on the board of directors for the International Academy of Web Television — and worries that she might need to be funnier.

1. What’s the one big issue/law/attitude/restriction that you think is holding back the industry?

One attitude holding back the industry is a belief that the best content creators need to be paid upfront for the content they produce. Sometimes upfront payments are absolutely the right way, but often they are not. At blip.tv this week we sent out hundreds of thousands of dollars in payouts to independent content creators, based on advertising that ran on their shows. What’s nice about this is that it’s a meritocracy. For the most part, the shows with the greatest number of views receive the largest checks. And advertisers get a terrific value, too, because we can guarantee views for them rather than asking them to place bets on hits.

2. What industry buzzword do you never want to hear again?

Social media. But I use it occasionally. Is that bad?

3. If someone gave you $50 million to invest in a company in this space, which one would it be?

If I could invest in one company right now it would be FreeWheel. The company that figures out how best to serve, and target, video ads will do extraordinarily well. These guys are the closest to getting there. I’d also spend some money on Roku and Boxee if there were any left over. Watching digital content on the TV set is super-satisfying but also a pretty profound thing. It’s what transforms digital media into, quite simply, media.

4. What was the last video you didn’t make yourself that you liked enough to spread to others?

I am constantly sending my parents clips from Old Jews Telling Jokes. And then I’m grateful my grandmother hasn’t submitted a joke (yet).

5. WILDCARD QUESTION: You’re one of the most prominent female executives working in online video today. What’s one benefit and one drawback to that?

I’m a big believer in the importance of women founders supporting each other, and I love spending time with other female Internet founders (and wish there were more of us). One benefit is that people tend to remember meeting you. One drawback is that I think you’re held to a different standard. And I don’t think people expect you to be funny. So I sometimes say things that are meant to be jokes that are taken seriously. Then again, it might just be that I should work on being funnier.

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I loved the 3 jokes I watched in your recommended embedded video, but not having to see the same 30 second Starbucks ad 3 times to watch a combined 2:00 of content.

Please consider user experience and look into utilizing session based frequency capping or other policies to balance your $$ goals and our viewing experience.


The “new digital economy” gives you the ability to make money on every view, keep your rights and have it on as many mediums as possible. Why give away any rights in order to gain access to viewers?

Content creators not completely understanding how the internet democratizes distribution is what will keep traditional broadcasters in business for decades to come. By embracing technology and its ability to reduce distribution costs and increase reach to a global audience, content creators can fully realize the revenue potential of their work.

Unfortunately, the content creation industry has been lead astray for decades; focusing on production and not distribution for their revenue. Your words “giving up” frame this picture of the industry perfectly. Once the production is complete and costs are covered, the distribution can easily be “given up” as the next project, and paycheck, is already in the works. This needs to change.

As a creator, you should be able to get revenue without having to relinquish rights, get paid for every view, and retain full control of your content. Anything less and the entire industry does not move forward.

Anthony DeLosa

Exclusivity and rights are two different things. Right now a “view” is a) not even clearly defined and b) not worth much. What if I gave up exclusivity of a certain number of episodes for a predetermined period in exchange for a little something more up front? Rolling distribution is underutilized IMO. We are also seeing shows like Bannen and Venice who offer only a limited number or episodes online or take them down entirely after a fixed period only to make them available for pay.

This is still a very fluid situation. No one has found the magic bullet. Curious though- what would be an example of a show that is a wide distribution hit? In other words a show that is performing well across multiple sites.


As a content creator I’m going to take the opposite view of upfront payment. First it does away with any kind of pilot presentation and forces a producer to complete the whole show upfront. This forces the producer to take all the financial risk and for what? A revenue share where there is very little hope of recouping the budget? There is a general consensus against “apartment shows” well unless you have investors, you’re self funding and that’s the cheapest way to go. You want better production values- pay upfront. These are destination sites that need content. Without content, no site. I could see if front page placement, kick ass marketing or guaranteed views were part of the deal but they aren’t. Even in a 50/50 rev share without your content there is 0 revenue. You’re really paying 50% for them to take your content.


You should be tapping into your local governments Film and Video production tax credits. Some are quite generous paying up to 65% of eligible costs. There are very few jurisdictions that would not provide you with some sort of credit to help offset costs.

Most of the time they also pre-approve your production and give you a tax credit guarantee so that you can go to the bank and get a loan based on the tax credit you will be getting once production is complete.

In new media, you can’t expect an non-exclusive distributor to cover any of the production costs.


I say meet me half way. I’ll give up exclusivity at the very least give a generous window. How about giving me a rate per every 10,000 views? Still performance based. Still a meritocracy.


modelmotion, Thanks for the great question. I agree 100% with the initiatives Jim is working on. All of us in the Web video industry suffer when videos carrying ads are put on autoplay; and then those impressions are reported as views to an advertiser. At blip.tv we look forward to working with Jim and others in the video ecosystem to establish standards for what a “view” is and then clearly reporting those.

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