Web slide shows where you remix personal photos, music and videos are interesting, but I have often wondered if there was way to make money off them beyond the usual advertising model. Qlip Media, a Mountain View, Calif.-based start-up seems to have figured out a way, except they don’t call them slide shows, or screencasts. Instead, they call them Qlippits.
“In a face to face meeting when we want to talk about something in specific, we can point to it,” says Swamy Viswanathan, co-founder of the company. However, when discussing something on the phone or online there is no easy to do that, unless of course you are using WebEx or some kind of web-sharing service.
The 15-month-old company is backed by Norwest Venture Partners and Outlook Ventures is launching today with its product, Qlip Board, available in two versions – a free ad-supported version and an enterprise version, that costs $90 per user per annum. The company plans to launch a Pro version targeting the Web Workers and the SOHO market.
CEO Chris Beall says Qlip Media isn’t a slide show or video creation tool, but instead is primarily a communications tool. He explained that the simplicity of use and their software’s ability to create tiny multimedia files is one of the reasons why the company has been able to sign up a couple of large corporate customers.
The Qlip Board software, which currently works only on Windows Vista and Windows XP, allows you to take a document, photo, or a PDF file, and annotate it with voice or text notes, and save it as a windows media file, which can be emailed to a colleague or can be saved via QlipShare at Qlip Media’s website. You can then email the link to that file. In the free version, ads are shown at the time a Qlippit is created and viewed.
Qlip Board seems to be a handy utility, but that won’t be enough. The company will have to move at lightening speed to capture users, and grow its enterprise customer base. After all, we are living in an era of instant imitation, and it won’t be long before competitors start of offer similar functionality.
PS: If you happen to test drive their software do let me know what you think. I have not tested it since it doesn’t work on a Mac.