U.K. Video Startup Grabyo Launches Its Ad-Supported Real-Time TV Clip-Sharing Tech With Sky’s Next Top Model

A new video-focused startup has just launched a second-screen offering, partnering with TV broadcaster Sky to allow TV viewers to legally share real-time clips of its content. There’s just one supported show at launch — Sky Living’s Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model, due to be aired in the U.K. this evening — but Grabyo says it is due to launch with another major UK broadcaster “shortly”. It’s also apparently in discussions with “a number of international broadcasters”.

London-based Grabyo says its platform allows TV broadcasters to extend the monetization of their audience through ad-supported clip-sharing. Its technology ingests real-time TV so when a viewer wants to clip a segment of the show during broadcast it’s a one button operation to grab the last 20 seconds of the content. Clips can then be shared to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Grabyo’s Twitter integration means clips can be viewed inline, as Twitter cards.

For the purposes of the Next Top Model partnership, viewers will be directed from Facebook and Twitter to grabyo.com/sky where they can create and share the clips but Grabyo said its tech can be embedded within apps.  Clipping for the Next Top Model partnership can also be done directly from Facebook, via a tab on show sponsor TRESemme’s Facebook page.

Ads are added to the clips as post-roll. Clips also contain branded stings. Broadcasters like Sky who sign their content up with Grabyo are obviously waiving any copyright claims over the shared content so clip-sharers won’t be hounded by their copyright lawyers.

Grabyo founder and CEO Will Neale tells TechCrunch the attraction of the platform to broadcasters is that it offers a way for them to monetise something their audience is already doing. “Broadcasters are, and quite understandably, protective over their content.  That said, we’ve had an extremely positive response from broadcasters as we enable them to retain ownership of their content and control the experience, whilst driving social engagement and generating incremental ad revenues,” he says.

“Not only are we helping broadcasters to drive social buzz around their shows, but we are also enabling them to generate incremental ad revenues – by giving brands the opportunity to extend TV sponsorship into social media.  This is very attractive to both broadcasters and brand sponsors.”

Clippers can’t do a great deal with the clips they grab beyond sharing them with their social media buddies — there are no video filters or ‘remix’ options. Frankly that’s probably a step too far for broadcasters at this point. But they are free to add comments and hashtags alongside shared clips.

Asked about the potential to incorporate more creative filters to video clips, to allow viewers to share more personalised pieces of shows, Neale says: “Grabyo is enabling viewers to share professional TV content. As such we believe there is less of a desire to edit and augment content as there might be with amateur video footage.  However, we are open to new ideas provided they are within the confines of what is deemed acceptable by broadcasters and other rights holders.”

Grabyo is self-funded at present. Its technology has been built by the team behind live interactive TV platform ShowCaster, which launched back in fall 2011. In the course of that company’s work with broadcasters it identified a gap in the market for a real-time TV clip-sharing platform — leading it to start building Grabyo.