Minnesota’s online video channels come of age

Measured in Internet time, it was eons ago. In reality, the video that featured a Minnesota couple and their wedding party dancing up the church aisle hit YouTube less than a year ago.

'Jill & Kevin's Big Day' has racked up more than 51 million views.

It might be years, maybe a decade or two, before Minnesota's start-up online video channels match that crazy number.

Viral popularity is one thing. If it's consistent quality you crave, then you'd be well-served to give Minnesota's budding online video channels a good look.

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Minnesota Original

One new channel is Minnesota Original, or mnoriginal. It's a Twin Cities Public Television production that posts weekly episodes profiling artists, musicians and other creative types in their lairs.

This is a high-quality material, technically and creatively. If your computer has the chops, you can watch in high-definition. The production values are superb. This is not the shaky amateur video you're used to seeing on YouTube.

Disclosure No. 1: mnoriginal is funded by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage fund, which also helps pay for Minnesota Today.

Disclosure No. 2: The first mnoriginal episode included a segment on The Twilight Hours, a Twin Cities band I really like.

Here's mnoriginal's eighth episode, featuring the TU Dance company, a group of Northeast Minneapolis jewelry makers and musician Peter Ostroushko. (One smart move mnoriginal made was to break episodes up into bits, so visit the site if you want to stream shorter segments.)


Another channel worth your time is MPLS.TV, a collective of video producers who describe themselves as "broke 20-somethings."

Like many start-ups, they're making it up as they go along ... and evolving on the fly. They used to post 30-minute episodes every week, but have since moved to offering shorter daily episodes along various themes.

Some of the segments are musicians in action. Others are comedy bits. And they've recently added Dude Weather, the surly weatherman who smokes and drinks while (sort of) telling us about the forecast.

3-Minute Egg


Former Pioneer Press reporter Matt Peiken has been tirelessly working on his baby, 3-Minute Egg. He posts short profiles of artists, dancers, musicians, painters ... you name it, as long as they're creative. Peiken's a one-man band and he's crafted an impressive body of work.

The latest Egg episode highlights an interesting collaboration between a chamber orchestra and a poet.