South Asian content site TinselVision has shut shop, reports PaidContent. Tinselvision had signed numberous deals, including with Zee TV, STAR India, Zoom TV, NDTV, UTV and even Yash Raj Films. Tinselvision began with offering Bollywood videos on download for $1.99, with membership priced at $9.99. Movies were priced at $3 each, with $10 for 5 movies. 

Eventually, the company took some content outside the paid subscription wall, and made some available for advertising supported free streaming. Remember that earlier this year, niche TV content site Jump TV had decided change focus from regional content to sports content.

The shutting down of TinselVision should also serve as a warning for other content streaming sites like Saavn, Big Flicks, Rajshri Media, Erosondem, Rediff iShare, among others. Most content owners may be giving them content for free, though some may be accepting a minimum guarantee, but bandwidth is a significant cost. Monetization via advertising hasn’t yet quite arrived, despite claims of significant paid downloads, and some projections for video advertising networks. The launch of video advertising networks like Jivox and VDOPIA should help, but given the current advertising market scenario, are advertisers biting?

Users are forever willing to view free content, but growth in viewership should be supported by the growth in revenues. Saying that the world will figure out a business model doesn’t really inspire confidence.

More on Tinselvision:

Executives: We just checked on LinkedIn, and it appears that the site shut down at the end of September – in November, former Tinselvision Chairman and CEO Chase Weir founded EarthShot Corporation; Christopher Remus, COO and VP Operations has also moved on to BrainBox Digital as VP of operations.
Websites: The homepage of TinselCinema.com is faceless, while access to TinselVision.com is forbidden.
YouTube: The Tinselvision Channel is still live on YouTube; no one has signed into the account for four months now, which was when the last video was uploaded.
Blip.tv: Some of their own content – a show called Inside Tinsel – is availabe at Blip.tv

Timeline:
Jun 20th 2007: Raises $3 million led by Innovative Entertainment Ltd, a Geneva based subsidiary of Innovative Energy Group 
Jun 2007: Signs up ZEE TV
Sep 2007: Signs up STAR India
Oct 2007: Signs up Yash Raj Films
Nov 19th 2007: Raises “More than $3 million” from Innovative Entertainment Ltd with “pre-launch, post-money valuation at nearly $20 million”
Nov 25th 2007: Signs up Shemaroo, B4U
Apr 15 2008: Expands content licenses to include India
May 17 2008: Adds UTV Content

Sep/Nov 2008: Shuts Down