Feeds

Sony snaps Grouper shut, gives Crackle a pop

Drops video sharing biz model, goes in search of 'emerging talent'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Sony Pictures is challenging YouTube's dominance of the user-generated content market by turning its online acquisition Grouper into a mini studio.

From today Grouper, which was acquired by Sony Pictures for $65m last August, will now be known as Crackle.

And, in a marked change to its original video sharing business model, the website's main function will be to pull in the best new online video talent.

Crackle is offering up what it described as a "streaming entertainment network" that will see wannabe filmmakers go head-to-head in contests in the hope of bagging development and distribution deals with Sony.

The site will also carry branded channels where user generated content in different genres will be uploaded and judged by a panel of "editors", entertainment partners, and other users.

Winners will get the chance to collaborate with Sony execs and creators before seeing their work distributed to a wider audience via the likes of MySpace, Facebook, and AOL, as well as on the TV screen via Sony platforms.

It said other initiatives would include lining up pitch meetings with Columbia Pictures for short filmmakers, and stand-up new comers could get the chance to perform at Improv comedy clubs.

Crackle founder and co-president Josh Felsher said: "We are very focused on liberating the next generation creator-writer from YouTube; we offer funding, syndication, promotion and a pathway to Hollywood despite cynicism."

Grouper had previously served as a peer-to-peer network offering a web-based video sharing service.

Although the new business model adopted by Crackle isn't exactly a new one - Google Video, for example, already offers similar cash incentives - Felsher said the firm hopes the Sony brand will help it push its service to the front of the pack. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.