GE and NBC Place Bets On Vivox

by Alphaville Herald on 19/07/10 at 11:25 am

by IntLibber Brautigan

The venture capital arm of General Electric and NBC Universal, aka "Peacock Equity" has invested $2 million in Second Life voice chat provider Vivox. Vivox provides voice chat services to 30 million users, with corporate clients CCP Games, Nexon, Linden Lab, Sony Online Entertainment, and many others. Vivox will use the new funds to expand into new markets and services like presence, text, virtual goods and audio advertising.

In a recent press release Brian Keil, Managing Director of Peacock Equity is quoted as saying, “With vibrant online communities already in place for much of NBC Universal’s content, we have some compelling opportunities to implement Vivox voice chat services to create a higher level of engagement among fans.” [Imagine where SL would be today without high levels of engagement thanks to Vivox - the Editrix]

No word on whether Linden Lab will be abandoning its badly borked and unscalable text chat system in favor of Vivox services. The "virtual goods" comment may imply that Vivox avatar cell phones may be coming to a sim near you. Expect the Vivox v-iPhone Hype Machine to reach full force at SLCC.

Other investors in Vivox include Benchmark Capital, Canaan Partners, GrandBanks Capital and IDG Ventures.

9 Responses to “GE and NBC Place Bets On Vivox”

  1. Henry Darkthief

    Jul 19th, 2010

    I doubt LL will give up text chat simply because they cannot afford to lose those of us who don’t use voice.

  2. Darien Caldwell

    Jul 19th, 2010

    … which is just about everyone. It’s literally been years since I’ve stumbled upon someone using voice.

  3. Nelson Jenkins

    Jul 19th, 2010

    I think the problem is you hang out in areas populated by children that are too scared to USE voice.

    Although to be fair, I don’t use voice that often simply because I don’t want everyone within an 80m radius to hear me.

  4. JustMe

    Jul 19th, 2010

    does anyone actuallly use SL voice , other than two individuals in private chat ?

  5. Barefoot

    Jul 19th, 2010

    Seriously? I use voice just as much as text. I think it’s a matter of where you go and how you like to communicate. I personally enjoy being able to do both. Don’t discount voice just because you don’t participate.

  6. Baloo Uriza

    Jul 19th, 2010

    The main welcome areas are popular voice locations. The problem is Vivox is trying to make accessable VOIP to people who don’t know how to tune microphones or understand push-to-talk: This, more than anything, makes Vivox unusable.

    That said, it would be nice if Vivox opened their shit up so we could fix it…then maybe the voice client wouldn’t crash every other use.

  7. Baloo Uriza

    Jul 19th, 2010

    All in all though, this seems like an odd thing for NBC to fund.

  8. Little Lost Linden

    Jul 20th, 2010

    Voice kills the SL experience for many people. It’s been scientifically proven. It is an additive most can do without. There have been numerous surveys…It’s science.

    There are a few good areas where it shines, but mostly, it is an abomination to SL. DJ’s have their own streams.

    I don’t think they had voice in Neuromancer.

  9. Ajax Manatiso

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    Voice is disabled in my sims and I haven’t used voice since my newbies days. I used it once and gathered a crowd around myself and the person I was voicing with — it was very uncomfortable and embarassing
    The reason voice is diabled in my sim and most sims in SL — it makes it so easy to grief — just swear up a stream or put it against your stereo speakers and then tp out befoore they know who it is.

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