Clicker, the startup that looks to be a comprehensive video search engine for television content on the web, has launched to the public. The site made its public debut at TechCrunch50, where it generated quite a bit of positive buzz, and has gradually ramped up its private beta over the last couple months.
I spoke with Clicker CEO Jim Lanzone (formerly CEO of Ask.com), who says that the site’s beta was actually shorter than expected, in part because intital feedback has been quite positive.
Since appearing at TechCrunch50, Clicker has added 33% more content to its database, growing from an index of 300,000 up to 400,000 full length episodes. These 400,000 episodes come from over 7,000 different shows across 1,200 content sources around the web. Lanzone says some of the biggest changes since we last saw Clicker have been to its Playlist function, which new includes more DVR-esque features like new episode alerts and season passes.
Lanzone also says that the site has continued to build out its search engine, which now allows you to constrain your search to episode descriptions of a specific show — for example, you could do a search for “Michael Arrington” within the Charlie Rose show to see all of the times Michael has been interviewed on that show. Clicker has also launched a ‘related search’ feature that suggests shows you may like based on what you’re currently viewing (this feature was only a placeholder during the TC50 demo because it relies in part on user data to help determine what’s related). And there’s integration with Facebook Connect, which you can use to sign in and to share content to your News Feed.
Another big change is the addition of premium content to Clicker’s search engine: the site now includes shows from both Amazon Video on Demand and Netflix’s ‘Watch Instantly’ content (you’ll obviously have to pay for these to watch them). Clicker doesn’t actually host any of this content — instead, it provides deep links that point you directly to whichever episode you want to watch. All of this is provided free, but the site plans to roll out premium features (following the ‘imdb model) in the future. Stay tuned.