Thursday, February 21, 2013, 9:18 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
Israeli startup Wochit launched yesterday, seeking to mass-produce near real-time video news bites that will be distributed across the web to sites hungry for high-quality video and additional revenue.
Company CEO and co-founder Dror Ginzberg told me that Wochit's algorithms monitor hot topics that are trending online via social media. Then source video from content partners like Reuters and Getty Images is mined to quickly create short videos. The videos themselves can focus on general headline news, specific topics, geographic areas, etc. and include voice-over narration (see examples here).
The goal is to offer an ever-refreshed stream of hundreds of videos to syndication partners (Grab Media OneScreen and Rightster to start) and others. Wochit is playing a middleman role of both monitoring what's hot, and also packaging source video into a digestible, user-friendly format. Dror echoed a point I hear often: while many sites today are eager for high quality, high-CPM video content, many don't have internal resources to create/edit it themselves. As a result, they look to partners to supply it, which is one of the reason syndicators have become so popular.
Wochit's additional hook is being able to create videos in near real-time. This plays to the "instant gratification" expectations many users have these days, a theme I wrote about 2 weeks ago with Universal Sports using SnappyTV to quickly post the Lindsey Vonn crash video. The videos are typically Wochit-branded, but can also be white-labeled or co-branded. All are ad-supported for now, though a licensing model is possible down the road.
Wochit has 20 employees and raised a seed round, but Dror says it is in the final stages of closing a first round. It is in the process of opening its business office in NYC, while development remains in Israel.
Beet.tv has a good interview with Dror below: