Grouper gives up on Mentos and Coke

Grouper, the user-generated video aggregator scooped up by Sony a year ago is going semi-pro. Grouper will no longer showcase the usual Mentos and soda pop experiments, opting instead to syndicate more professionally produced content.

Sony Pictures Entertainment plunked down $65 million for the site last year. It was rebranded this week as "Crackle" with in-house material and syndie distribution across IPTV platforms as well as MySpace, Facebook, AOL and others.

In an interview with B&C, Grouper founder Josh Felser summed up the impetus for dropping user-generated videos: "The content is rarely exclusive, and it is hard to monetize."

For more:
- the party-line from Sony is available here
- B&C covers the rebranding here