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The New Networks

If anything indicates that online is the new cable, it’s the proliferation of video sites producing consistent niche content.

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CURRENT
Programming: Al Gore’s alternative-media space for the Me Generation, specializing in viewer-generated content and synced up to cable channel 103 in New York.
Best Show: The pseudo-amateur content is smart—from an interview with a robot artist to a first-person waterboarding report.
The Next Youtube? It’s not as slam-dunk easy to use, but if you submit your video here, it could end up on television.


VBS-TV
Programming: Produced by Vice magazine and Spike Jonze, this online version of the obnoxious hipster rag hawks its favorite bands, writers, and other talents. Plus loads of travel docs.
Best Show: Americana, in which a team probes some of our country’s great mysteries: moonshine, guns, taxidermy.
The Next Youtube? Nope. Users who can tolerate the disaffected narration and off-kilter subject matter are a self-selecting bunch.


ATOM FILMS
Programming: Originally intended as a short-film showcase, it focuses less on repurposed TV footage and more on films and programs its users actually shot.
Best Show: A deal with Lucasfilm makes Atom the prime destination for Star Wars fan videos, but we’re partial to the horror-spoof series Possum Death Spree.
The Next Youtube? Predating YouTube by more than half a decade, the site may not want to be.


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