1. Facebook is rolling out a video rental platform to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, etc. Proving the company is trying to become more and more like the 90s AOL. Currently, you can only rent The Dark Knight for $3, but hey, movie rentals on Facebook. So far on Warner Brothers has taken the bait.
“Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people,” said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. “Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world’s largest social network.”
2. YouTube has acquired Next New Networks, “which produces original programming and helps video creators distribute their films and make money.” The deal is for less than $50million, so it’s not a major acquisition for the Google company. As YouTube figures out a way to make money, they face stiff competition from Hulu, Netflix and Apple’s iTunes, not to mention new startups every day. At some point, the company has to figure out a better content strategy than people getting kicked in the nuts and lazy cats.
3. Perhaps, most intriguing, is Universal’s new deal to “licensed rights to a vast portion of its library to AnyClip, a company that chops up films digitally and makes every moment searchable.” Yup, they are now the first movie studio to do this and it’s a welcome development.
AnyClip CEO Oren Nauman said each movie is painstakingly, during the course of up to 20 hours, tagged with 5,000 unique elements like character, setting, dialogue, behavior and the sorts of objects in the various scenes. The company uses its proprietary technology as well as human movie-watchers to figure it all out.
“The technology is still developing,” he said. “A machine can tell you it’s a car, but not a Mustang.”
The search function is accurate, though not precise. Typing in “gonna need a bigger boat,” for example, results in the relevant clips from Jaws but also scenes involving boats from the films Mamma Mia, Evan Almighty and 2 Fast 2 Furious.
The notion that consumers will now be able to legally search and share their favorite clips from Universal movies is nice.