Grouper debuts classic moments

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Viral video Web site Grouper is tossing morsels of classic film and TV moments from the Sony Pictures library in an effort to turn surfers into buyers.

The Sony-owned site launched a new channel dubbed ScreenBites, which will give users the chance to watch famous scenes from the studio's extensive library of films and television shows with the option to purchase the complete film or TV show on either DVD or as a digital download.

Additionally, through Grouper's one-click Web-posting feature, users have the ability to embed the clip to a blog or post it on their MySpace page or other profile pages across the Web.

"This is about using Grouper as a way to allow our movie and TV marketing apparatus to access the Internet audience in interesting ways," said Sean Carey, Sony Pictures Entertainment executive vp digital services and distribution.

Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired the video creation and sharing community Grouper Networks in a deal valued at $65 million in August as a further move into the digital online space. From the beginning, Sony intended for the site to be considered its own platform rather than just a basic video hosting site.

Previously the site hosted a contest in conjunction with the upcoming Will Smith feature "The Pursuit of Happyness," where participants could compete to win an internship with companies like Morgan Stanley or Yahoo!

Besides the cost of purchasing a DVD or download through the site, which Carey said will vary by retailer, content on Grouper is free and ad supported.

Carey described the free clips, which include Cuba Gooding Jr.'s "Show me the money!" scene from "Jerry Maguire" and Robert De Niro's "You talkin' to me?" line from "Taxi Driver" as moments that people in a short snippet would recall and understand everything about the film.

"We went back as far as 'On the Waterfront' and even if many 18-34 year olds maybe haven't seen that movie, they'll most likely know the line from the film," he said.

While the ScreenBites channel currently includes 100 clips, Carey said the selection will expand to include hundreds more over the next few months.

The Sony Pictures library includes more than 3,500 films and 82,000 hours of television programming. Theatrical titles available through the site include "A Few Good Men," "A League of Their Own" and "Taxi Driver" while TV series include "Married ... With Children" and "The Jeffersons."
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