LYCOS UNVEILS NEW CINEMA VIDEO COMMUNITY, ADDING ONLINE VOD RENTALS TO ITS AD-SUPPORTED SERVICE, BRINGING ENHANCED SOCIAL VIEWING EXPERIENCE TO PREMIUM PAID CONTENT
Lycos Teams with IndependentFeatures.com for First-Ever Online Independent Film Festival Combining Social Viewing and Web-Based Voting
Next Generation Lycos Cinema Player Provides Higher Video Quality and Content Security through Latest Flash Media Serving Technology
WALTHAM, Mass. - May 5, 2008 - Lycos, Inc. (http://www.lycos.com), a leading provider of social publishing, media and search services, today introduced the new Lycos Cinema (http://cinema.lycos.com)adding video on demand (VOD) rentals to its existing ad-supported Lycos Cinema community, greatly expanding the interactive social video viewing experience. With the new Lycos Cinema, users now have the option of watching and interacting around premium rentals and free VOD ad-supported film and episodic television titles. Lycos's patent-pending synchronous Watch & Interact technology now enables multiple users to view the same video at the same time with anyone, anywhere, at anytime--all while chatting and socializing.
Lycos Cinema is the only online social viewing experience to offer synchronous SimulStream community viewing, allowing users to come together to view film and other video content in public or private screening rooms, in four different screening modes, including both full and mini-screen modes. With the addition of VOD rentals, Lycos introduces a new StoreFront business model to compliment its free, advertising-supported content, providing a customized, studio boutique solution for the promotion of upcoming DVD and theatrical releases.
"Our experience shows us that while film and TV fans welcome the increasing availability to view premium content online, they also desire the social interaction that is inherent in today's web as part of their viewing experience," said Chuck Ball, vice president of sales and marketing for Lycos. "By enabling users to watch the same program at the same time, Lycos Cinema gives users a unique viewing experience they cannot find anywhere else."
The new Lycos Cinema player utilizes the latest in Flash Media Serving Technology, employing MPEG-4 to deliver H.264 streams, to provide higher video quality and offering better security for content partners. Additionally, Lycos has greatly expanded the chat functionality within Lycos Cinema, utilizing an Open Source chat server to expand lobby chat capacity from 10 users to thousands of users. The new Lycos Cinema also introduces unique advertising opportunities to its existing ad-supported model, with new video overlay advertising, providing greater ability for users to interact with ad content, generating multiple impressions.
All new Lycos Cinema features now include:
* 4 key viewing modes
* thousands of free VOD and VOD Rental titles
* lobby chat accommodating thousands of users
* easy to use scheduling & invite functionality with automatic notification features
* clip & ship widget functions
* time-stamped comments
* full buddy list import-ability to invite AIM buddies to join viewing
* rating and recommendations
* online movie rentals streamed in H.264/MPEG-4 for higher quality viewing
* 'watchlist' functionality to keep track of favorites
Lycos kicks off today's re-launch of Cinema by teaming up with IndependentFeatures.com (http://www.independentfeatures.com), pioneer of the first independent film festival where film selection is done entirely online via a web-based competition. The competition begins today and runs through June 30th. The top 21 films will receive an invitation to the Independent Features Film Festival, July 25-27, 2008 at the acclaimed Tribeca Cinemas in NYC and will be available exclusively on Lycos Cinema.
"Our vision is to create an online festival where filmmakers from all walks of life can submit their feature films to the festival and be judged on a global stage by a jury of their peers via a web-based competition," said Philip J. Nelson, president of Independent Features.com. "Lycos Cinema is the perfect community for independent producers looking to reach moviegoers, and for independent film fans looking to discover new voices and unique visions, giving film fans the opportunity to rate films online, and to meet other independent film fans in the process."
Lycos has also expanded its free and VOD rental content now showing on Lycos Cinema, including thousands of titles from National Lampoon's popular webisodes, SpinCycle mashimations and the Fat Guy Nation series; classic television comedy episodes, game shows and cartoon series from The Orchard and Classic Media; and mixed martial arts content from ProElite. On the premium VOD online rental side, Lycos Cinema users can now access award-winning independent films from Vanguard Cinema; drama, comedy, urban, music videos and special interest titles from Polychrome Pictures; music, home video and television content from Lightyear Entertainment; and independent film features from Indie Vision Films.
Lycos first raised the curtain on Cinema in Nov. 2006 with the debut of the Internet's only video-based socialization product to combine various Web 2.0 applications into one platform, allowing multiple users to watch video synchronously and chat about the content in real-time. Since then, Lycos Cinema has powered several successful online viewing parties for first-run television programming, giving TV audiences the opportunity to watch their favorite shows synchronously with other friends and fans, chat in real-time while watching, and interact with their favorite show stars.
About Lycos, Inc.
Lycos is one of the original and most widely known Internet brands in the world, evolving from one of the first search engines on the web, into a comprehensive network of social media web sites that foster online communities.>Lycos has been a pioneer in intelligent spidering search technology, combining its proprietary technology with other best in class search services to provide a powerful and relevant search experience for its users.
Times change, and Lycos has changed with them, evolving into digital media power house with two major divisions
Lycos, is a network of easy to use community and social sites. Lycos's award-winning products and services include tools for blogging, web publishing and hosting, online games, e-mail, and search. The Lycos Network of sites and services include Lycos.com, Tripod, Angelfire, HotBot, Gamesville, WhoWhere, and Lycos Mail. Integrated, these sites help in bringing people together to interact, conduct commerce, have fun, and experience the best the Internet has to offer, is in our DNA. We offer 40 Local Sites in 120 Languages with a community spanning across 177 Countries. Lycos consistently averages 12 - 15 million monthly unique visitors in the U.S.
Lycos employs over 500 people working out of 24 offices worldwide, including the US, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Sweden, Serbia, Israel, China, Thailand, Panama, India, Emirates, Russia and Australia, and with representatives or partners in Spain, South Africa, and The Netherlands.www.lycos.com
US PR Department
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