RedLasso, the bloggers’ TV-clipping service, has made it through a long, hard winter. The company announced today its first content deal since getting sued by NBC Universal, Fox News Network and Fox Television Stations in July.
RedLasso settled with the networks in late October, CEO Al McGowan told us today (he wouldn’t disclose terms). It was impossible to raise money while getting sued and just about as hard after the economy crashed, and the company had to lay off more than half its 25-person staff. “I have to admit, our landing gear did hit the water,” McGowan said.
But today, RedLasso is officially back in motion, with a license to clip programming from Fox Television Stations — yes, the former litigant. Next month the startup will relaunch its service, which allows bloggers to search for and embed moments from television on their own sites. Though the service itself will be essentially the same, it will now be ad-supported and have only have licensed content. By comparison, last April it was completely free, had 18,000 users, 24 million unique visitors, and no ads whatsoever.
“Everybody has their own thought process, and publishers are now more and more open to the process of syndicating content,” said McGowan. He acknowledged that while RedLasso was offline, TV networks became savvier about posting their own content, and bloggers have found workarounds — often with breaking news they just rip and upload on their own videos. Meanwhile, companies like Auditude, FreeWheel and Attributor, and YouTube are helping content owners identify and monetize user upload. So even though RedLasso is back on track, the business has only gotten more complicated.
But they’re going to give it another go and we’ve got to respect that. McGowan also said RedLasso is about to close a round of funding that will include some previous investors.