Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Heavyweight Machinima Gets a Grown-Up With Gamer Cred

Machinima is a YouTube powerhouse that specializes in videos about videogames and the dudes that play them. Good fit for Nanea Reeves, the company’s new chief operating officer.

Reeves comes to Machinima after years in the games business, most notably at Electronic Arts and Jamdat, the mobile games company EA bought in 2005. Most recently she was at Gaikai, a cloud company that helps stream games to Web sites and devices.

Machinima is a different but related kind of company: It serves lots and lots and lots of videos to an audience that loves games.

The site is one of the most important players in the YouTube landscape, and passed the billion-monthly-view mark at the end of last year. There’s still an open question about how much that traffic is actually worth, though.

That’s in part because advertisers still don’t know what to do with YouTube eyeballs. And in part because much of Machinima is both a content creator and a distributor/ad network, which counts lots of third-party videos in its view totals.

One of Reeves’ first priorities will be to reduce Machinima’s dependency on YouTube, where all of its views come from, by creating a “multichannel platform” that will allow it to distribute its stuff to other sites and directly to devices. But investors seem okay with Machinima the way it is, too. The company is in the midst of a big-dollar funding round.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work