Service brings clips to e-mail, IM

CBS, Lionsgate among studios partnering with platform

PopTok, a new free service that will bring major-studio movie and TV clips to e-mail and instant messaging, is launching Monday in beta.

The platform has partnerships with CBS, Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony BMG, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. and Warner Music and is compatible with AOL's AIM, Yahoo Messenger and Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger.

The service will make the clips available through a software download. Once a user has access to the PopTok database, such notable clips as "Hasta la vista, baby" or "Show me the money" can be dragged into IM conversations or e-mails.

PopTok's revenue will come from sponsorship and from the company sending its users to Web retailers. The main site, poptok.com, also has banner advertising and ads eventually will be inserted into the clips.

The year-old New York-based PopTok is led by president and CEO Scott Kauffman, formerly a Time Warner exec and president and COO of online ad network BlueLithium, which was acquired by Yahoo last year. PopTok was founded by Illi Edry, a former exec at Israel's Keshet Broadcasting and a partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners, which, along with GTI Group, provided the company with seed funding.

PopTok is similar to Paramount's VooZoo application, which allows users to insert video clips of that studio's movie and TV properties into online conversations on Facebook and, for about $1, on virtual world There.com and on MTV Network's virtual worlds later in the year.

PopTok's reach will be considerably greater than VooZoo's, however. With the ubiquity of movie quotes in everyday dialogue, Edry said the feedback he gets most often about his company is, "Doesn't this exist already?"

"Its so simple and so obvious and it so doesn't exist," said Edry. "It's a huge opportunity."
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