As you all know, the Napster founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning have reunited to launch a new company called Airtime. Before the company officially launched today, Airtime acquired a video startup company called Erly. At the launch party, there were many celebrities to help win the audience over. Celebrities in attendance included Olivia Munn, Joel McHale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ed Helms, and Jim Carrey. Unfortunately, during the demo, there were some glitches caused by a custom built Intranet for the event making Airtime look bad even though it was not their fault.
“I can’t actually thank you guys enough,” Parker told the celebrities at the end of the session, “because you took a completely f**ked-up situation where everything was going to s**t and actually salvaged it.”
About one hour after the start time was announced, Jimmy Fallon appeared on stage for a Q&A with Parker and Fanning. However there were several audio problems caused by microphone feedback.
So how did Parker and Fanning meet? “Fanning and I met on the Internet, literally in a chat room. We were both hackers,” said Parker. “We ended up being the two people in this world who headed into something other than online vandalism and screwing peoples lives.” To demo the product, Parker started by “calling” Olivia Munn, who was behind the stage. Her video kept freezing up though. Munn came on stage and then attempted to call Snoop Doggy Dogg in California, but the video kept sending a busy signal.
“By the way, I’m Matthew Lillard, everyone,” said McHale while trying to kill time and defer blame. “Sean, whose ass are you going to fire?”
“You guys aren’t meteorologists,” said Helms. “I am. There are sun spots today. That’s why the Internet is kooky.”
“It went on a little long. I got a few gray pubes during it,” joked Jim Carrey when he asked how he had enjoyed the presentation.
So what is Airtime? Airtime is a service where you can chat with strangers just like Chatroulette, but it connects to Facebook so you know their identity. “No download is required. All you need is a Facebook account and a webcam,” wrote The Airtime Team on the company blog.
Users would be able to search for chat partners based on their interests, shared social connections, and location. After they connect to each other, they would be able to talk, type messages, and watch YouTube videos together. Parker and Fanning have been working together for the last 2 years. Airtime directly competes with competitors like Skype, Google Hangouts, Justin.tv, and UStream.