Video streaming site offers exclusive Alabama channel

Francie Johnson

University of Alabama students can now watch UA sports clips, hype videos and a variety of other Crimson Tide-themed content on streaming service WatzOn.TV.

WatzOn.TV is a free video streaming platform available on Apple, Android, Google Chromecast and online. The site partners with existing video services like YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu and Dailymotion to create a one-stop site for video streaming. WatzOn.TV pulls content from its partner sites to create customizable channels, revolving around topics like food, music and movies.

“I like to say, think of ‘Pandora meets Spotify for Internet TV,’” said Andrew Hartford, who serves on the board of directors for WatzOn.TV. “Individuals can have content brought to them based on the preferences they share with us and their behavior displayed through time on the platform.”

WatzOn.TV has more than 15,000 channels available, and users can create their own custom channels as well.

“I’m a big Louis CK fan,” said Jake Ellenburg, a junior majoring in public relations. “I typed in Louis CK, and it makes a whole channel, and every time you search for something else, it adds that to your channel. Over time you develop a channel that’s just for you that plays only things that you’re interested in.”

Ellenburg works for yOptimize, the social media marketing company that handles WatzOn.TV’s social media platforms. Ellenburg runs the WatzOn.TV’s Twitter and Instagram pages.

“As of right now Netflix has taken over, but it kind of has its limits,” Ellenburg said. “Netflix only has what it has on Netflix. WatzOn.TV pulls from multiple websites all over the web. So it’s definitely an interesting concept.”

The University of Alabama was one of the first colleges to get its own channel on the platform.

“I personally thought an Alabama channel would be a cool, smart market to test since I find your community to have a very loyal following,” Hartford said.

The University’s WatzOn.TV channel will primarily feature sports-related content, including highlight reels, hype videos and contemporary news about the UA community.

“I think it will benefit [students] in a way to where they don’t have to scour the internet to watch cool Alabama stuff whenever you want to,” Ellenburg said. “It’s just all there together in one convenient site, one channel.”

WatzOn.TV was founded in 2013, and the site officially launched in mid-July 2014. Ellenburg said being a new site comes with its difficulties.

“It’s relatively new, so they do have a lot of bugs and technical difficulties every now and then,” Ellenburg said. “But the owners are totally hands on. Every time someone’s Tweeted a problem at them, they usually get to it within just a couple minutes.”

Hartford said he hopes to provide a platform that students will visit time and time again.

“My goal is to make sure that the content is as relevant and enjoyable as possible, while also actively reformulating the [user experience] so as to make the platform itself user-friendly, simple and fun,” Hartford said. “It is quite easy to get people to a platform one time, but getting them to come back regularly is an entirely different matter.”

For more information on WatzOn.TV, visit watzontv.com or Tweet to @WatzOnTVcom.