San Francisco-based startup ClipSync says its research shows four out of five people who use online video would rather have company watching the latest episode of, say, "Lost," than watch it alone.
It's Social TV platform allows viewers to enter "private viewing rooms" online where they can watch an episode, chat with others in the room, even through virtual items-like tomatoes - at the screen. Or, you wan just sit and watch the episode. The software, which currently is being used by CBS and Epix, as well as several other online video sites, allows users to join shows already in progress or created their own rooms and invite friends through Facebook to join them.
At CBS.com, it's "Watch & Chat" offers episodes from "Survivor," "CSI:NY, Miami et al," "NCIS," "The Good Wife," 20 different shows in all. There generally are two or more rooms active at any time, some very busy, others nearly silent. And after the video ends, the chatter between viewers often goes on, so much so that CBS began running ads after the episode ended.
ClipSync today said it was going to be used to host live the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. The Independent Film Channel will use ClipSync and Akamai for live, interactive, HD video broadcasts three times a day starting Mach 12.
Viewers will be able to chat, react to the video, even pose questions to performers and celebrities featured in the SXSW sessions, a form of video conferencing.