Forget the six o’clock news, Glocal wants to be your all-in-one distribution channel for news videos online. It’s an ambitious goal, to say the least, but the Detroit-based startup has raised $1 million in funding from Compuware’s venture capital arm to make it happen.
Glocal, which came out of beta on Wednesday after a three-year development period, bills itself as the first online service to aggregate local and national news videos, and organizes these videos by city so viewers can find the most relevant news clips in their region.
The startup launched with 1,900 video providers in 68 cities, including New York, San Francisco, Austin and Memphis. Each of these cities has between 25 to 65 video content providers, ranging from big name national publications like CNN and The Associated Press to local news sources. Glocal also uses YouTube’s API to populate it with videos from various outlets and local news bloggers.
“We give a place for news organizations to distribute their videos and we do focus on smaller organizations,” Lincoln Cavalieri, the company’s founder, told Mashable. Of those 1,900 video providers, 250 are national in scope. Cavalieri says he was inspired in part by video services like Hulu, which provide an “aggregation platform” for TV shows, and Vimeo, which does the same for independent videos. “There wasn’t really an aggregation platform for news videos in general,” he said. That’s the niche that he hopes to fill with Glocal.
When users open up Glocal’s web page, they’ll see a list of national trends — similar to Twitter tending topics — each of which has a collection of videos. There is also a map of the U.S., where users can search for and find their city to view the top videos in their area. The service isn’t perfect — while looking through videos in the San Francisco area, for example, many of the top clips we came across were from lectures at Berkeley, which may be educational, but are probably not the kind of entertainment one would seek out in this situation. Still, at its best, Glocal helps to surface news videos from lesser-known publications that might be buried on other general video services like YouTube.
Going forward, Cavalieri says the plan is to release an iPhone application in the next month or so, followed by apps for Android and the iPad. The startup also plans to expand and aggregate videos for cities in other countries. As for revenue generation, Glocal is building an advertising platform that features video editing tools on the site to make it easy for marketers to create videos and then bid to air them targeting specific cities.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, jsawkins
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