1Cast, a new media sharing service aimed at bloggers launched into private beta yesterday and is promising to be the new RedLasso.
The service, like RedLasso before it, offers clips from major news outlets that can be embedded on blogs or general news sites. Unlike RedLasso however the clips are provided by legal agreements with content providers.
It's early days for 1Cast, and backing from Craig McCaw of Eagle River Ventures should help them grow, however it's not RedLasso, at least not yet.
The biggest issue with 1Cast is a lack of content bloggers would want to use. Content on the site comes from AFP, AP, Reuters, CNBC and CBC, although the company is saying that "more content deals will be announced in the coming months." Where RedLasso excelled was availability from major networks including NBC, Fox and MSNBC, particularly political clips.
There's then the time delay factor. RedLasso allowed users to upload content and share it, so within sometimes minutes of an interview ending, someone may have uploaded it making it immediately available to users. 1Cast lacks not only for variety, but speed, having to wait until providers offer the clips. I haven't done an indepth analysis of the delay, but if its like other "legal" content providers, the delay can often be as long as a full day, so the value proposition of pulling the clip has diminished.
Then there's the issue of unique content. I like the general idea of the one-stop shop for this sort of content, however 1Cast's lineup isn't unique, as both Voxant and ClipSyndicate offer content from most of the same providers, and often more. Better still, Voxant and ClipSyndicate revenue share on the ads attached to each clip, something 1Cast doesn't do. 1Cast says that "social networking and blogging sites now have a legitimate source of embeddable, professionally produced video news content" but that's just plain rude to existing competitors and completely untrue.
Unlike when RedLasso first started, many content providers now offer embeds themselves, for example you can now embed Reuters videos via Reuters itself, MSNBC offers embedding, and more and more content providers are doing the same. The need for a specialized site to grab clips may provide ease of use, but it's not longer a unique sales proposition due to clips not being available from content providers themselves, as was the case previously.
I may sound a little negative on the service, but if they can get better content deals in place they may yet be the new RedLasso, they just don't come close today, and their PR spin is borderline fail.