September 13, 2007 / 4:35 PM / 11 years ago

Free TV channel aims for Internet content

HELSINKI (Reuters) - All you need to launch your own television channel is a mobile phone with a camera, Finnish technology startup Floobs said on Thursday.

People take photos with their camera phones as steam erupts from the site of an explosion at the intersection of Lexington Avenue and 41st street in New York, July 18, 2007. All you need to launch your own television channel is a mobile phone with a camera, Finnish technology startup Floobs said on Thursday. REUTERS/Chip East

Floobs plans to offer a free television channel for everyone, enabling people to run live shows or pre-recorded material, for no charge, starting later this year.

The company opened a Finnish-language testing service this week and aims for a November launch of an English site, targeting groups and communities which do not get airtime on established television channels.

“Our main target group is communities which already exist on the Internet,” Joonas Pekkanen, co-founder of the firm, told Reuters.

User-generated content on popular sites such as YouTube is proving to be the driver of Internet TV while forays into Web TV by established broadcasters and telecom operators have largely flopped in Europe.

Pekkanen said the company aims to charge users for some professional broadcasting tools, while also selling advertising space.

Floobs could also offer opportunities for so-called citizen-journalism, with live-video streams from any video phone. “If you see something interesting on the street you can start streaming in a few clicks,” said Pekkanen.

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