One benefit to covering cool companies is the subsequent rise in status to “official insider.” After writing about Gotuit at the TechCrunch NY party, the company contacted me to set up a pre-brief on a new product announcement. The new product, SceneMaker – which launches today – is a consumer application for tagging video segments within larger video clips. Gotuit calls SceneMaker the “first social video tagging application.” I personally think the word social should have been retired from the lexicon immediately after Zune’s “Welcome to the Social” campaign hit, but semantics aside, SceneMaker is a welcome addition to the world of online video.
Scenemaker works like this: You copy a video URL from YouTube or Metacafe into the SceneMaker application and add metadata to any segment you want within the clip. These user-generated tags are called VideoMarks. Once a video has VideoMarks, that metadata is included whenever someone runs a search in Gotuit’s InVideo search engine. You can also embed a video segment on your website or blog that only includes the section of a video you’ve marked. For example, the middle 30 seconds in a three-minute clip.
In-video searching seems like a natural evolution for online video. So much so, that I have to wonder if someone else on the market has this or, more likely, is about to introduce it. Gotuit, however, has a couple of aces up its sleeve. First, the company already has relationships with content producers. Second, Gotuit has several established distribution channels: cable operators and a mobile carrier in addition to the direct-to-consumer route. Reminds me of a great quote from a recent Studio 60 episode – “Content may be king, but distribution pays the king’s mortgage.”Making SceneMaker available to the public is a smart move for getting folks hooked on in-video searching. Ultimately, however, Gotuit has a very powerful platform that should prove attractive to more and more content producers and providers. Imagine pairing Gotuit’s SceneMaker with Brightcove, for example.
SceneMaker also has some intriguing niche applications. I think Gotuit should license the platform to sports leagues so that instead of watching entire games, coaches can focus in on specific plays and specific players. Come to think of it, Gotuit should probably also license the platform to ESPN. Talk about having tons of content to search and analyze.
Wherever Gotuit goes next, the company does seem to get more interesting every day. And executives promise that the launch of SceneMaker is only the first of many news announcements coming in the next several months. We’ll be watching…