Internet media giant Yahoo Inc. recently said that it had acquired Jumpcut, a site that provides simple-to-use online video-editing tools, in its latest bid to enhance its Web video services offerings.
The site, created by San Francisco-based MiraVida Media, lets users publish and remix video clips, Yahoo said on its Web site.
Six-month-old Jumpcut provides Web users a free set of online video editing tools that give people the ability to manipulate moving video images without the need to own or install software on their own computers.
The move comes nearly four months after the company revamped its own Yahoo Video site, and could foretell further acquisitions in the Web video space. Microsoft recently opened the beta version of its online video-sharing service last week, Soapbox on MSN Video, while AOL unveiled a revamped video portal in late July to strengthen its position against YouTube and Google Video.
Yahoo said Jumpcut would be part of the Yahoo Video family, indicating that the online Web video service would not replace Yahoo's own video service.
While the popularity of online video watching has surged, the numbers of people actually creating video programming remains a tiny fraction of the audience of passive viewers.
In a statement, Yahoo said Jumpcut.com gives users a convenient way to create multimedia mashups of different types of video and other media. "As part of Yahoo we will be working on bringing video editing and remixing to everyone with an Internet connection," Jumpcut said in a statement on its own Web site.
In joining Yahoo, Jumpcut said it would get the development resources it needs "to make things happen faster and on a larger scale." In addition, the company said on its blog that it would be working with Yahoo media and advertising partners to offer more content that subscribers’ can use in remixing movies.
The video site will join a host of other Yahoo properties, including Flickr and Del.icio.us. The deal will help Jumpcut reach a broader audience, and gain "more creators, more content and more exciting things to do," it said.
Yahoo is not a stranger to video editing through a browser. In a partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, Yahoo launched in April a Web-based video re-mixer as part of the opening of the 49th annual San Francisco International Film Festival. The tool let movie lovers compete in making the best mashup of clips from a variety of festival movies.
Yahoo is apparently looking to use online video editing as a differentiator among other video-sharing services. In addition, the technology could become an advertising vehicle. Automakers, for example, have offered promotions in which people create their own car commercials using online editing tools.
Video sharing and viewing has grown quickly over the last couple of years on the Web. The most popular site is YouTube, which from January to June grew 297 percent to a monthly unique audience of 19.6 million, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.
Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo is looking to recapture momentum among online video viewers following the success this year among U.S. Web users of YouTube, the top provider of user-generated videos.
YouTube, started last year, said last month that about 100 million clips are viewed on its Web site each day. YouTube is the most popular Internet-video entertainment Web site, with 34 million users in the United States in August.
YouTube thrashed all rivals in a count of U.S. visitors from Hitwise earlier this year, with 43 percent of traffic to video sites, nearly double the share of runner up MySpace. Myspace, in turn, held twice as much market share as the third and fourth place video sites, Yahoo and MSN. In a more recent survey earlier this month, YouTube captured 60 percent of all UK online video traffic.
While statisticians paint conflicting views of the competitive landscape within the online video sharing market, YouTube attracted twice the number of visitors of No. 2 placed MySpace, which has twice the visits of Google Inc., according to U.S. market data from Internet measurement firm Hitwise Inc. MySpace is a unit of News Corp..,
Yahoo and Jumpcut both announced the deal on company blogs, and Jumpcut even made a short video to commemorate the event.
Financial details were not disclosed, but the San Francisco startup will become a part of Yahoo's Social Media group.
The acquisition highlights the focus Internet companies are giving to online video.