Sony Re-Brands Online Video Site 'Crackle' - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Software // Enterprise Applications
02:56 PM
Connect Directly

Sony Re-Brands Online Video Site 'Crackle'

The former Grouper site will become a showcase for high-quality filmmaking talent, says Sony Pictures.

Sony Pictures Entertainment has found a new way for its online video site Grouper to compete with YouTube: Get into a different business.

The company said today that it has re-launched Grouper, acquired last August by Sony for $65 million, under the name Crackle.

Sony sees Crackle not as a video sharing and community site, but as a showcase for emerging filmmaking talent.

"The evolution of online video will bring viewers more professionally produced material," said Sean Carey, senior executive VP at Sony Pictures, in a statement. "Crackle will provide this next wave of creative talent a forum that will give them the exposure and recognition they seek and deserve."

Grouper, like other online video sites, hasn't been able to keep up with the exposure and recognition received by YouTube, which saw its share of U.S. visits increase by 70% between January 2007 and May 2007, according to Internet metric company Hitwise. In May, YouTube had 50% more U.S. visitors than the 64 next most popular video sites combined.

In re-orienting its online video site to appeal to producers of more polished productions, Sony is putting Crackle in the company of Atom Films, Revver, VuMe, and other sites that reward filmmakers with something other than attention. It also is making Crackle more appealing to advertisers wary about being associated with the worst excesses of user-generated video.

Amateur video will still be available, but Crackle aims to encourage pedigreed filmmakers to submit high-quality content in exchange for payments, development deals, meetings with Hollywood executives, and contest awards.

Crackle's payment plan looks tightfisted by Hollywood standards -- contests are cheaper than contracts with a living wage for all involved -- but celebrity salaries shouldn't be expected in a medium with such a fluid business model.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll