Auds absent from site, traditional media wary of Webcasters
With only a few weeks’ worth of operating cash left in its coffers, Gotham Netcaster Pseudo Networks confirmed that it officially closed its doors Monday afternoon.
As recently as last weekend, the company had been seeking further financing or a media industry suitor to supply it with much-needed cash, but talks were unsuccessful.
“We ran out of money, it was that simple,” said Pseudo spokeswoman Jeanne Meyer.
CEO David Bohrman called a staff meeting Monday afternoon and informed Pseudo’s employees that they would shut down at the end of the day.
“As of today, we are all former Pseudo employees,” Bohrman said.
Big cost, small aud
Pseudo, which had laid off nearly 60 workers this summer as part of a larger reorganization into a single-channel online programming network, has been plagued by heavy operating expenses and limited audiences.
For several weeks, Bohrman had been looking for a traditional media firm to take a strategic interest in Pseudo, which was founded by Jupiter Communications co-founder and erstwhile cyber-performance artist Josh Harris.
Pseudo earned itself some brand recognition for its painstakingly thorough online coverage of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, which included 360-degree camera views, audio feeds and interactive commentary.
But the company reportedly failed to draw a wide viewership to its coverage, and Pseudo’s presence at the Democratic Convention two weeks later was significantly scaled down.
In addition, recent troubles at well-financed and high-profile Netcasting shops have not endeared the online content biz to traditional media congloms. Most recently, the DreamWorks- and Imagine-funded Pop.com shut its doors before the site had a chance to go live.
Still, with the online entertainment industry on shaky ground on both coasts, Gotham-based dot-commers were not eager to see their competitor go down in flames.
“I, for one, am hoping they stay afloat,” said a Gotham new-media insider before the news was announced. “Otherwise it doesn’t bode very well for the rest of us.”