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This article was published on February 26, 2008

High-quality video service Stage6 soon to be history

High-quality video service Stage6 soon to be history
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

Stage6, the high-quality platform for videos, will be shut down on February 28. Tom (aka Spinner), a Stage6 user and an employee of DivX, Inc., the company behind the service, wrote a message last night explaining why it’s going to the history. Upload functionality has already been turned off, and users will be able to view and download videos until Thursday.

Tom explains they’ve started Stage6 as an experiment, always knowing it might not succeed.

In many ways, the service did succeed, beyond even our own initial expectations. Stage6 became very popular very quickly. We helped gain exposure for some talented filmmakers who brought great videos to the attention of an engaged community. We helped prove that it’s possible to distribute true high definition video on the Internet. And we helped broaden the Internet video experience by offering content that is compatible with DVD players, mobile devices and other products beyond the PC.


So why are they shutting the service down?

Well, the short answer is that the continued operation of Stage6 is a very expensive enterprise that requires an enormous amount of attention and resources that we are not in a position to continue to provide. There are a lot of other details involved, but at the end of the day it’s really as simple as that.

In July of last year the service announced they would be searching for new strategic alternatives, since Stage6 took too much time and effort for DIVX. A spin-off company, simply selling the service or shutting it down basically were the only options. Now it turns out that it has become the latter.

Tom also writes why they had started Stage6:

There was a clear need for a service that would offer a true high-quality video experience online because other video destinations on the Internet simply weren’t providing that to users. A gap existed, and Stage6 arrived to fill it.

They were surprised by the enormous growth, with eventually has become their own downfall. With more and more video services adding HD quality videos support – such as Veoh and Hulu – the gap will probably be filled again. Only ten days ago, TechCrunch reported that ‘Dailymotion Offers Bandwidth-Hogging HD Videos’.

That doesn’t take away the grieve of the Stage6 users though. Tom had to post his announcement twice to cope with the amount of comments (now around 12,000). There’s even a petition, created by Stage6 user mister_pink:

We are getting loads of signatures every second. Its averaging one every 15 seconds. Now, if we get 10000 signatures in the next 24 hours (or 1000 in the next hour), I will print and mail the list to the corporate office of Stage6. Keep up the signing!

It’s sad but true, Stage6 won’t be feeding the hamster anymore…

[WebTipr: Steven Carrol, France]

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