Sony relaunches video sharing site, renames it Crackle

MUMBAI: Sony is today relaunching its video sharing website Grouper that it bought last year and renaming it ‘Crackle‘.

It will try to differentiate itself from sites like Youtube using the pitch ‘We‘re going to make you a star baby‘ under which users who submit clips stand chance to win cash-prizes and even an Academy award nomination.


Unlike Grouper which shared amateur video content, Crackle will feature videos by aspiring professionals, including some funded by Sony. Sony hopes this will attract advertisers who were not particularly enthused by amateur video sharing.

It has also set up Crackle studios comprising a team of 15 employees who will produce segments for the site. They will also accept submissions from the public, although they will not be paying for them.

"We‘re out of the user-generated-video business and in the emerging-talent business," said former Grouper founder and current Crackle co-president Josh Felser. "We‘re liberating the next-generation directors and producers from YouTube."


Sony hopes to use Crackle to discover a new generation of filmmakers and is open to accepting proposals, which on acceptance will be funded by the company.

The company will sponsor contests to find the best original animation and award creators with a cash prize and a trip to Los Angeles for a pitch meeting with executives at Sony Pictures Animation, which has made such movies as this summer‘s Surf‘s Up.

The animated short films have the chance to release in theaters making it eligible for an Academy Award. They would also be invited to attend ‘Siggraph‘, the annual computer graphics conference in August 2008.

The videos can be posted on blogs, MySpace, Facebook and other websites, and viewed on the Sony PSP hand-held game console and Internet-connected Sony Bravia televisions.

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