Movieclips.com online video service sees growth, opens API to developers

It's been three months since Movieclips.com, an online video service that offers up 12,000 free clips of many of cinemas most famous lines, fight scenes, kisses-just about anything you and your buddies have argued about-went live in the U.S. and Canada, and its been averaging a respectable half million uniques a month.

Today, it's going world, baby.

"Movie clips should be available to everyone, everywhere," says co-founder and CEOP Zach James. "It was our dream to open this content up to viewers worldwide. Browsing through thousands of scenes is a great way to rediscover classic Hollywood moments. It's easy to get lost in the site, and it's hard not to share."

Co-founder Rich Raddon, former director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, said he and James originally planned to open the site up globally later this year.

"We weren't going to make it available worldwide for about a year," he told FierceOnlineVideo. "But we've been bombarded by people outside the U.S. asking us to open it up."

It's pretty easy to see why. The site is a kick to play on, easy to navigate and the content pops right up. What really makes the service special for cinephiles is that these are clips from movies, not trailers that are found on other sites.

"Trailers are the product of marketing department," said Raddon. "We give you actual pieces of the movies, the editorial that directors want you to see. They give you a better sense of what a movie is."

The company has 20 employees, all of whom clip and tag the movies based on a four-page questionnaire that includes everything from props, to mood, to actors, actions, dialogue and more, generating about 1,000 points of data on each 30-second to two-minute-long scene.

"We go through the movies ourselves and find the best, most memorable moments," said Raddon. "And it's all searchable."

Movieclips.com licenses its clips from six of Hollywood's biggest studios--including Warner Brothers, MGM, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures and Universal (only Disney isn't in the mix)--so they're legal to share and embed. The site has developed a loyal, and vocal following.

"When we launched, we really did know what to expect," said Raddon. "But Twitter just blew up. People want clips, and studios are getting hip to that."

The company has a relationship with Amazon, so each movie has an option available if you want to buy it. Movieclips.com is working on a deal with Netflix for rentals as well, said Raddon, both will be revenue sources eventually, along with advertising on the site.

For the moment, when asked when the company will be cash flow positive, both James and Raddon say they're looking down the road and have adequate backing from angel investors to keep moving ahead.

"We've raised a kind of Series A that's enough to push us through a year and a half," said James. Added Raddon: "It's angel money so far; a pretty sizeable amount. To get into this space and actually get the level of content you need it takes a lot of money. Zach and I are pretty good at approaching angels."

The company today also released an API, opening up access for approved developers.

"We were inspired to open the API after our team created a custom plug-in for bloggers using the WordPress platform," said Raddon. "The response from our blogger friends was so overwhelmingly positive that opening up the API more broadly seemed a natural direction. We want to see what the developer community can come up with; we're excited about it."

For the near-term future, Movieclips.com will remain in beta as it continues to roll out more apps and load more content. "People are just a little more forgiving when you have the beta tag on there," said Raddon. "For the past three months we've really focused on the user experience, getting tons of feedback from early adopters."

For more:
- see this release
- see Movieclips.com's blog

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