PopTok to provide shorts for email, IM
PopTok, a Netco providing short movie and TV clips for email and instant messaging services, has launched in beta.Service, headed by digital media vet Scott Kauffman, has inked deals with several major studios, networks and music labels including CBS, Paramount, Warner Bros. and Universal. Lionsgate and Sony BMG also inked deals, but Disney is notably absent. Service is intended to allow users to easily send their favorite lines from TV shows, movies and songs to their friends. Users simply drag and drop the video clip onto their IM service or email. “People are constantly quoting lines they hear in popular movies, TV shows and music,” said PopTok founder Illi Edry, who maintains that this service allows studios and other content providers to be part of the conversation. Kauffman, most recently at Yahoo, said the company plans to make coin three ways: ad revenue on websites, promotional deals and through a cut from ecommerce transactions, be it ticket sales, iTunes sales or video-on-demand. Edry, an Israeli who developed PopTok in conjunction with venture capital firms Jerusalem Venture Partners and GTI Group, said the film studios, normally protective of their digital wares, were the first to join the service. “They see it as the ringtone model for Hollywood,” he said. Prexy-CEO Kauffman, who recently joined the Netco, said showbiz content providers are much more open to digital deals than they were eight years ago, when he was launching a music service. “I’m really pleased by how much more open and accommodating they have been,” he said. “The tech issues and piracy issues are well in hand.” The site plans to have more than 10,000 clips available by the time of its public launch in the fall. Licensing of the clips is covered under talent promotional deals. Kauffman has a long history in the media biz, having toiled at CompuServe and Time Warner, where he was a founding member of the Entertainment Weekly team as VP of marketing, promotion and new media. More recently he has worked on a series of Internet startups, including Zinio and MusicNow. Yahoo acquired his marketing firm BlueLithium in late 2007.