More and more television content is making its way online. But because of different deals by various networks, it’s all over the place. Even the huge sites like Hulu, only skim the surface in showing what is out there. Clicker, a service launching today at TechCrunch50, wants to be the most comprehensive way to find the video content you’re looking for on the web.
While there are no shortage of video search engines out there, Clicker believes its offering is superior because it creates a structured database of programming, organizing shows by things like network, genre, and show name. This type of data not only allows for better search results, but it allows you to browse content without having to do text-based searches, which you probably won’t be doing when television and future web-enabled tablets start to serve up this content. Clicker already has a deal with Boxee.
The goal is really to be the best search engine for video content. Clicker will point you in the direction of whatever you are looking for (and will do embeds if they’re available), but won’t serve up the videos themselves. They will also delve into surfacing content not explicitly produced for television, but is still high quality web video content. But they don’t want to be YouTube, which is cluttered with user-generated content. Clicker is going for a different market.
Clicker will also allow users to edit and submit information about shows wiki-style.
As a search engine, the business model will obviously be search and display advertising. But eventually, there is a plan for Clicker Pro premium accounts, which the company envisions might be used for storing you favorite videos online, kind of like a DVR of sorts.
CEO Jim Lanzone (former CEO of Ask.com) and COO Paul Wehrley presented Clicker today on stage at TechCrunch50.
Expert Panel Q&A (paraphrased)
The experts: Don Dodge, Yossi Vardi, Ron Conway, George Zachary, and Jason Hirschhorn.
Q: Is this automated?
JL: Where content resides is always changing, a lot of it is automated, but we have to find stuff too.
Q: How do you monetize.
JL: We’re looking at the IMDb model. And eventually we’ll have a Pro version. And there’s a downstream model since we’ll be sending a lot of traffic.
Q: What do you think about Bing?
JL: That’s not fair. I think it’s fantastic for pushing beyond 10 blue links. A lot of it looks familiar though.
Q: How do you get the market penetration?
JL: Part of it is branding, some of it is distribution deals. We’ll also be very heavily SEO’d.
Q: What’s the business model?
JL: It’s mostly advertising, and we’ll get into Pro later, again. But IMDb makes $75 to $100 million in just what they do.
Q: Is this funded?
JL: Yes, earlier this year Benchmark and Redpoint – $8 million.
Q: Would you invest?
JH: This is a big problem for web video.
RC: Great product.
YV: I can never predict if products will succeed so I bet on people. Jim is a good one to bet on.
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