Blog Post

AnyClip Rides Hype Out of TC50, But I Just Don’t See It

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.

4 Responses to “AnyClip Rides Hype Out of TC50, But I Just Don’t See It”

  1. doug imbruce

    The floor on the intelligence level of this blogs audience was lowered drastically by the previous comment – a technology that allows for crowdsourced/outsourced second by second chaptering of long form content searchable by keyword is clearly important as media becomes the core part of the internet experience. anyclip is an obvious home run. the anonymous poster is an idiot.

  2. ohigotchya

    My particularly favorite moment is when he details how “mike arrington” brings up darth vader – a perfect flaw to this entire idea – revealing how effectively nonsensically related tags bring up irrelevant clips from movies.

    A sad and blaring example of why this idea won’t work. As the Web 2.0 saying goes, you can bring a user to water, but you can’t exactly expect that user to generate what is appropriately needed.

    Ohigotchya
    VP of Not-Into-Using AnyClip
    @imseriousthisideaisfraughtwithcontentissuesthatwillmireitintooblivion
    @notafan

    • But why are you hating so much, hater? What are you? Jealous or something? Why are you so quick to dismiss the hard work of numerous talented and intelligent people?

      The Darth Vader thing was clearly a joke. And yes, the system may have to feature filters that separate verified meta-data tags from random user generated ones.

      Is it easy getting permission to use Hollywood-generated content this way? No, it’s not easy. Is it a great accomplishment if you actually succeed? Yes, it would be a great accomplishment.

  3. Liz,

    To be completely fair, this is not an archive of movie scenes… AnyClip literally lets you (i.e. a developer writing an application, or consumer) query into the library and dynamically pull out exactly what you’re looking for. Clip databases just don’t do that.

    Anyway, we’ll win you over ;-)

    Thanks for taking the time to write about us.

    Nate Westheimer
    VP Product, Co-Founder, AnyClip
    @innonate