Movie studios have generally had a mixed relationship with online video sharing sites. On one hand, sharing bits of movies and other content helps raise awareness of the titles and probably leads to greater rental and sale revenue. On the other hand, clips are generally being posted to those sites in violation of copyright, there are always folks engaging in outright piracy by posting entire shows and movies, and other people are making money by posting ads alongside the content while the studios (generally) get bupkis.
The new Movieclips.com service, which has just launched its beta, hopes to bridge the gap, offering searchable and sharable clips from thousands of movies—and its doing so with the cooperation of six of Hollywood’s major studios: 20th Century Fox, MGM, Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros., and Sony.
Movieclips.com claims to have about 12,000 clips from about 1,000 movies available for the beta launch: titles include some current releases like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as well as library titles and classics like Casablanca and It’s a Wonderful Life. Users can share the clips via email along with social networking services like Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook.
Movieclips.com hopes to earn money from referral fees from users who proceed from clips to retailers like Amazon.com and Apple’s iTunes to purchase content. After the beta period, Movieclips.com also hopes to begin to generate ad revenue with advertising overlays.
It’s not clear whether a service like Movieclips.com can succeed: Viacom’s similar Facebook service “VooZoo” fizzled out in short order, and Movieclips.com is currently missing titles from major studios Disney and Lionsgate. But the service’s searching capability is unique, and if Movieclips.com’s library becomes large enough—and long-lived enough—may give the company a unique edge on letting users find (and buy) the movies they want.