Clipblast launches video channel guide Griddeo


Video search is finally giving way to video discovery and curation. The latest evidence of the trend is the launch of Griddeo, a new site created by video search specialist ClipBlast that is designed to help organize channels of videos.

ClipBlast, which was launched in 2007, had operated over the past few years as a video search engine. But times have changed, and no one really needs a video-specific search engine to find the content they want to watch anymore. Today, the number one video search engine is Google, (s GOOG) followed by YouTube. (Check out this piece from 2008 — “Whatever Happened to Video Search” — and see if you can spot the companies that are still around.)

ClipBlast has decided to tackle the problem of video discovery and curation, using all the data it has collected from video search and applying it to its new project, Griddeo. Griddeo is designed to let users find and create their own channels of videos, which can then be watched in a continuous stream.

Once a user has logged in with Facebook, Griddeo uses information from their likes and interests on the social network to suggest channels that they might be interested in. (For me, for example, it automatically added the GigaOM channel to my list.) Users can also choose from a list of featured or suggested channels, which include TV shows, movies and musicians, but also extends to celebrities and brands. And finally, they can create custom channels from videos that they’ve found on the network and share those playlists with their friends.

When new videos from those channels are added to various sites, they will automatically be added to a user’s channel listing. So if you subscribe to Modern Family, for instance, new episodes will be available in Griddeo as soon as they appear on Hulu.

Griddeo can display videos from pretty much any online source, including YouTube, Hulu and Vimeo, (s IACI) and keeps all advertising served intact when watched on the site. That’s because it’s just embedding the original site’s player and overlaying navigation and sharing buttons on top of it.

For now, Griddeo is supported by display ads, but CEO Gary Baker told us in an interview that he sees interesting opportunities for monetization, particularly around sponsored channels for brands. And for users, Baker said there’s the possibility of incentivizing them to create and share channels with friends, the idea being that users who influence others to join in could receive rewards for doing so.

Of course, Griddeo isn’t the only startup focused on enabling users to create playlists which can be watched later — although its suggested channels do take some of the work out of finding content that might be interesting to its users. ShortForm, which we also wrote about this morning, has created a platform for curating videos and arranging them into channels, and there are bookmarking tools like Squrl, which also let users arrange curated videos into personalized channels. The key advantage Griddeo seems to have is in the ease of discovering relevant channels and adding them to one’s program guide.

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