Farewell, Blip

Things were very different back in 2008-2009 in terms of the stuff I do (making videos on the internet). Youtube tends to remain largely unchanged in the department of copyright strikes and ContentID matches even if the layout and look have evolved. People who made angry reviews on the net were generally ALL considered “AVGN rip-offs” regardless of connection, style, or subject matter. What was especially different was that the alternate video player to circumvent the issues of youtube was a little player…called Revver.

However, Revver did not last too long. Payments in the thousands were owed to many people, but since it was one of the video players being used by people when a guy forty pounds lighter than me started doing silly and angry comic book reviews, he submitted to them, as well. He only lasted about five or so episodes there because he soon learned that ThatGuyWithTheGlasses, the site he hoped to someday be on, had begun uploading their videos to a new video host called Blip.

I talk about this because Blip and my videos have been inexorably linked since the very beginning. I didn’t make very much money when I started – just a few bucks. Sure, getting a huge swath of viewers from being picked up by TGWTG helped with that, but the real thing that started showing me that I could make a career out of this came around the time of the first anniversary brawl. Specifically, there was this ad that played at the end of videos – it was a minute and a half long – an advertisement for the then-new Starburst Favereds.

Everybody hated these ads because of how long they were.

And yet, despite the length of them, they were wildly successful. I got a check for several hundred dollars for them, more than I had ever seen before for my videos. I still buy FaveReds for myself when I can just in honor of that even though my paychecks got larger. But it was Blip that made that possible. No ContentID issues, no length issues (aside from file size cap at 1 gig), and a lot more freedom to operate.

While Blip was never the best video player, and we’ve had our ups and downs in regards to ads, player issues in general, lag, and etc., it offered me a lot that youtube never did and not even Screenwave has. I’ve loved the customization of the player itself and the ability to download the videos if you knew the RSS feed link.

There are a lot of memories with Blip. Some of them are just the advertisements. There’s the aforementioned Starburst ad, but of course blip ads have run a full gamut of bizarre, annoying, and catchy. There were of course the Denny’s ads that said that pancakes are ‘Murican without a trace of irony, who broke the copier copier copier, you’ve just gotta lol (I don’t think a single person ever watched those all the way through), that’s for baaaaabieeeeees, expressing concern about our fiber, Gamestop promotion ads that thought they were funny (they were not), Denny’s again with its very annoying children and their quite stupid father who is incapable of explaining the concept of a figure of speech, and more recently State Farm ads inexplicably bringing back Saturday Night Live characters… and that one State Farm ad that NEVER had its audio working. Not a once.

And then on the subject of ads, there was that brief time where Blip fought against adblockers with a minute-and-a-half grey box that kept you from watching the video for a bit. From there was my own “Please Let the Ads Play” video, now horribly out-of-date (to the point where I’ve finally switched comments off on it – although I got a loooot of good quotes for future DVDs filled with any number of insults). And that video, controversial as it may have been, resulted in a better share of revenue, so I don’t regret doing it.

There were other things that had issues that made me mad. It upset me that so many people had difficulties with getting the player to work at all for them, which lead to people downloading my stuff to put on their own youtube accounts. There were the cullings, which got rid of people who should have stayed, for starters. There was a brief time where they talked to me about becoming under contract with them (this happened with Lindsay Ellis, Todd in the Shadows, and the Nostalgia Critic), which would result in the “League of Super Critics” thing, which might still be a thing with Maker, I couldn’t say for certain. The contract there was awful, by the way – the idea of a fixed rate for videos is good in theory, but there were times where my numbers would justify much higher rates than they offered… certainly not enough to keep me at a living wage. There were even those pop-up ads on the bottom for Blip content – you probably saw them for a bit advertising Maven of the Eventide or the Nostalgia Chick. Hell, part of the contract (at least the one offered to me) actually would have required a blip watermark in the bottom corner of the video, though I think that idea got dropped pretty quickly.

They also offered to build me a website, something I had been thinking about for a while at that point, though I think I lucked out there. Chez Apocalypse’s website was first built by them and… frankly, I don’t like it. I understand the concept of it, with the scroller and whatnot, but I care more about the long-term than the most recent stuff. I have social media to promote new videos – what is needed is an effective archive for the long-term, which is what I have for my site. It’s not perfect and even now the Engineer and I are working on a few things to hopefully improve site design in the future, but for now I think this site turned out pretty well without Blip’s help. It was a nice offer, though. The meetings with them stopped (Diamanda Hagan can also attest to this) pretty much after the Maker buyout.

Speaking of, if you’re wondering why Channel Awesome’s own website took so long to create… you can think Blip for that, too. They were the ones initially designing the new site and got very close to launch… aaaaand then the Maker buyout happened and all progress stopped, necessitating CA to basically start over from scratch with the site design from a year or so ago. I’m frankly happier with the current design (less cluttered, IMHO), but that’s something else.

It’s a shame that things went downhill after the Maker buyout. Blip’s front page, aside from the trending videos at the bottom, has remained unchanged since that buyout. It’s the nature of businesses, I guess, but I’m still going to miss Blip. They were what made this show work when I started, made it something viable and something I could live off of and therefore dedicate more time to producing content for you guys. Blip was a platform that WORKED. The advertisements, annoying as they sometimes were, enabled me to dedicate myself to this full-time. Without Blip, there would be no History of Power Rangers. While I’m working on getting around ContentID NOW, just remember that the last time I tried to put History of Power Rangers on youtube, I got two copyright strikes that lasted me a full year. But they always had a home on Blip. The statistics reporting of the last month or two have sadly been broken, but I can tell everyone that Blip closes, at the very least, with 49,500,000 views for my Blip channel, with the hightest-viewed video being my Top 15 WTF Moments in Bad Comics at 300,000 views. Well, technically the Spider-Man #56 review had the highest at 750,000, but that’s only because of Blip’s autoplay feature that had everyone start watching that as soon as the latest video was over, so I think we can adjust for that inflation a bit. Those numbers are nothing to scoff at, my friends. Almost seven years of Blip being the home for my videos and now there’s a new era before us.

Farewell, Blip. May you live on in the occasional joking reference we make to you and the now-outdated references in past videos.

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