As you know, Chris and I were out of town this week — so we missed the TechCrunch50 startup launch conference at home in San Francisco. However, I’ve been catching up via blogs and video, and have been following up with some of the companies.
I was a little surprised to hear how positive a reception one video-related startup, AnyClip, got at the conference. Apparently it was a judges’ runner-up and the audience favorite, though, so clearly there’s some demand for what it’s doing. And we do like the guy who’s running the company, Aaron Cohen, who was also in charge of the ill-fated Bolt.com.
Basically, AnyClip is trying to index the world’s movies and get rights to search and clip them, via crowdsourced metadata about what’s going on in each scene. Cohen said in his presentation that he’s trying to get global content rights to sub-4-minute chunks from every studio, and his investors are tied into Hollywood and will help him do it. When it goes live, AnyClip users will be able to find and share their favorite movie scenes via embeds, apps and greeting cards across the web. Here’s the video of Cohen’s pitch:
Massive archives of movie clips are not a new project — blinkBox out of the UK comes to mind. In fact, AnyClip has been doing stuff in this space for a while itself — it used to be called PopTok, and made an instant-messenger client plug-in that gave chatters short movie clips to use in conversation. But short video scenes on their own are only so compelling — it would be much better if these were licensed jointly with the full content — like on Hulu, which also offers clipping tools. And as TechCrunch50 judge Sean Parker (formerly of Napster) cautioned, content rights are very hard to obtain and monetization of short clips will be a challenge.