Gotuit Furthers Television's Demise

Boston based Gotuit Media launched Gotuit late Sunday evening. Gotuit offers users on-demand free premium content like music videos, sports clips and short films (the stuff that gets deleted from YouTube). Find what you want, click it and watch it immediately.

The site is Flash based and will have a familiar interface for YouTube users. This isn’t about long tail user generated content, though. Gotuit has struck licensing deals with labels and other content owners to show a deep library of premium content.

See, for example, the music section. At launch they have over 2,000 music videos (compare to iTunes, which has “3,000+”), fully licensed for streaming to users on the site for free. The also have deep content in sports, news and movies, including short films. The site will eventually have advertising around the content, as well as 15 second video ads between plays. This revenue will be shared with the content owners.

Gotuit has added some very nice touches. First, a minor point, but I like that you can browse around the site without losing the stream of the video you are currently watching.

Second, videos load and play very, very fast. I don’t know if they’ve done this by cutting up the media files into smaller download chunks or some other technical trick (they wouldn’t tell me in the briefing), but when you click on a video it fires up and plays immediately.

Third, if you choose to register for the site you can create playlists of videos, a very useful way to bookmark favorite content. You can only create one large playlist per category (music, news, etc.), though, and you can’t mix different types of content within a playlist. Building out functionality around the playlists will be trivial for them, though, and I imagine we’ll see updates there soon.

Fourth, they are adding deep tagging features that will allow users to jump right to specific parts of videos – an important feature when reviewing sports footage, for example (and while we are on the topic of sports, don’t miss the cheerleader tryouts in that area of the site. :-) ).

A mobile version is “on the way”.

A final thought. I like Gotuit in a way that I like Pandora. I can imagine playing this in the background daily at my computer or in the living room during parties. Pandora has a great flash player for music and does a good job sending new stuff my way. But I can’t pick a song and play it at will like I can with videos on Gotuit. If Gotuit can work out a deal with the record labels to allow plays on demand, why can’t Pandora?