Film clip provider Movieclips.com has raised a Series A round of $3 million from venture capital firms Shasta Ventures and First Round Capital, as well as angel investors including Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC, Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures, Naval Ravikant and Nivi Babak of VentureHacks, Jeff Kearl, and Tom McInerney. The funds, according to co-founder Zach James via phone, “will be used for the curation of our site and the content there.”
The hope is that by creating such compilations, site visitors will be exposed to films they might not have discovered. For James and co-founder Richard Raddon, one major value they’ve found in Movieclips’s library of film clips is a way for users to find out about new movies they may want to see.
“When people got to see high-quality clips of fun and interesting moments, it makes it into a discovery engine,” Raddon said. To serve that need, Movieclips began using the Netflix API to create direct links from film clips to the film’s Netflix listing just a few days ago. (A “Buy” button in the player also takes users to the film’s listing on Amazon.com.)
However, that’s simply a side effect of the service. “We don’t think of affiliate sales as a huge part of the business model — it’s just what we’re seeing in user behavior. It’s not going to trump advertising,” James said.
We originally reported back in March that Movieclips had over 12,000 clips available. While that number is now more than 14,000 clips, they’re now choosing to emphasize the number of titles they can draw clips from — in this case, over 1,400 films. “We’re always focused on getting new content,” James said. “If we don’t have it, no one else is going to have it, and we’re constantly getting new clips from the studios.”
Movieclips isn’t alone in the business of providing film clips online. However, competitor AnyClip has struggled in the space, in part because it lacked the same content partnerships Movieclips has nailed down. In addition, former AnyClip CEO Aaron Cohen and EVP of product Nate Westheimer both announced they were leaving the company in recent months.
While Netflix Instant Streaming content is often available for only limited windows of time, that’s not a problem Movieclips has. “Our contracts last for two to three years,” Raddon said, “And we really don’t have windows on our content. That’s just the length of the deal.”
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