Movieclips.com, an online movie clip-sharing service, launched in beta test mode on Wednesday touting the cooperation of five major Hollywood studios amid an industrywide slowdown in DVD sales.
The founders and private backers aim to make movie clips searchable and sharable and earn referral fees for viewers who go on to buy or rent movies via links that lead to Amazon.com or Apple Inc.'s iTunes.
After exiting the beta period, the company also hopes to put advertisements over the bottom third of the clips and share ad revenue with the studios.
"It's a great way to introduce an older movie to younger audience," said Zach James, the company's 27-year-old co-founder and chief executive.
The Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup is launching with 12,000 clips from more than 1,000 movies from 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros.
The notable studio exceptions are Disney and Lionsgate.
James declined to identify the investors.
The launch comes about a year and a half after Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures launched its own clip-sharing service called "VooZoo" on Facebook. That service has since ceased functioning.
Clips from some newer movies, such as "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs," are on the site along with classics like "Raging Bull." Users can share clips over Facebook, Twitter and e-mail among a few other services, but clips cannot be shortened like on Hulu.
The site did not launch without a hitch, with some doubling of audio tracks and a glitch that caused a Web browser to crash.