I'm not much of a TV show junkie. I like Seinfeld and Battlestar Galactica. But I own all the episodes on DVD and can watch them anytime. And, because there's so much content available these days, I prefer not to care about TV shows I can't easily access, rather than be frustrated trying to find them.
To that end, the idea of Clicker, which calls itself a "TV Guide for the Web" wasn't really a compelling product. I've been testing out video search engines and video catalogs since YouTube made video aggregation popular in 2006. No service has satisfied me.
Not until I tried Clicker, that is. Since testing it out, I began to rediscover some of my favorite TV shows that I forgot, mainly because of content overload over the past several years.
Clicker, a guide for TV and movies online that raised $19 million in venture funding over the past two years from Benchmark, Redpoint, and Jafco, has been available for four months. Since launching last fall, the startup has amassed 650,000 TV episodes from the big networks and cable channels and Hulu, which is owned by NBC, Disney and News Corp as well as Web originals from newbies, such as VatorNews. (Note: You can see the nearly 1000 VatorNews videos on Clicker here.)
It has 50,000 movies available for streaming from Netflix and Amazon, with iTunes soon to come, and 50,000 music videos, from MTV and YouTube.
In our four-part series, we talked about Jim's lessons as an entrepreneur, Clicker's business model, why he raised so much money, the company's social media strategy, the evolution of online video, and in this segment we started with the difference between Clicker and the countless other video organizing sites out there.
Since the rise of YouTube in 2006, there has been a surge in video catalogs, such as Fancast and SideReel, and video search engines of various stripes, including Blinkx, ClipBlast, and Truveo, just to name a few. What makes Clicker stand out? I asked.
"Video search has existed for years," said Jim. "People don't use video search engines because they're just too scattershot. The video isn't organized in any way," he added. "We took all broadcast programming available, and all the videos off the Web that are equivalent of broadcast, and we put that into a catalog that you can navigate by categories."
Even YouTube doesn't organize efficiently, said Jim. Often on most video search sites, there are clips, or illegal content. Clicker aims to be a "noise cancellation machine." Clicker will help you find what's legal, what's full length, and take you to the actual page the video is available from the source.
Moreover, Clicker does its own categorization, as opposed to leaving it to meta-tags and allowing users to categorize.
Indeed, Clicker's categorization of the content, and the way it also breaks down shows to help you find certain topics discussed, makes it a useful service.
As I said earlier, I've become a renewed fan of my old favorites, such as "Meet the Press," "This Week," and "The Colbert Report." I'm not the only one, I'm sure. And, that's got to mean something to the networks that have found themselves losing their once-valuable audience.
Watch the next few segments in which Jim talks about how Clicker plans to make money, Clicker's social media strategy, and how he'd like to work with big broadcast media.