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Startup blinkBox is adding full-length TV shows to its film/TV clip messaging offering as it comes out of beta phase today. Founded by former 4 Services MD Michael Comish and former Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) group content services head Adrian Letts, blinkBox was conceived in recognition of the fact many people like to send movie clip mash-ups to their friends, with added messages. The service has done deals with FremantleMedia, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Discovery, Aardman and Universal to allow users access to clips of their repertoire, which can be sent via email or via SMS for £0.30. Today blinkBox is also announcing new content deals with Raindance TV, X-Treme Video and Fortune Star. The full-length shows will be ad-supported and consist mostly of old cartoons. There are 95 free films and 269 TV episodes, and I’m told “a substantial automotive brand” has signed up as sponsor for two months, yet to be announced.
As you can see from this example, it’s as simple as adding a text overlay to a video clip. Therein may be the challenge (couldn’t kids continue to make unofficial mash-ups with other tools and post to YouTube?). The new full-length TV feature unveiled today is a departure from the short “blink” idea on which the site is founded – though that remains – while new quizzes, recommendations and chat strive to pad out the idea. It may be one way for IP owners to monetise their archive content, though – clips include links to buy or rent full titles so viral distribution could drive sales. BlinkBox scored original funding from Arts Alliance and Eden Ventures before a second round from Nordic Venture Partners in June.