ICQ founders launching Knocka web TV

The creators of the ICQ instant messaging program are launching an Internet-based TV service. Knocka TV will enter beta test within weeks. With a mix of user generated and professionally produced content, Knocka plans to introduce a royalty system for contributors, Nir Erlich, company co-founder told TBIvision.

"Once we’re generating income there will be a revenue share with producers. We estimate that will be six-to-twelve months after launch," Erlich says.

A small number of professional content providers are on board including animated shorts producer Mondo Media. These companies have been paid a small license fee, but the goal is to have all content existing within the royalty scheme whereby producers can get a slice of ad revenue.

Users can upload content, which is then peer-reviewed and placed within a TV-type channel. Knocka will generate revenues from video advertising and sponsorship.

With numerous other video-based sites out there, Knocka hopes the way it packages content will set it apart and, not surprisingly given its founders were pioneers of instant messaging, its interactive and community elements.

"At the moment the end-user has to work hard to get to video they are interested in and for them it is very personal, there is no common experience," Erlich says. "There are thousands of users but each one doesn’t know what the others are doing."

Users will be able to help programme the channels and also interact with uploaded content in real time, using text or in person via webcams. There will also be link-ups with other web-based communities and related sites. Unlike its competitors there will also be a real emphasis on live events.

Knocka founders, who include other ICQ creators Sefi Visiger, Yair Goldfinger and Arik Vardi, have been working on Knocka since November 2006. The company is based in Israel and backed by local private equity investor Evergreen Capital.

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