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Skip That Commercial

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Company working on software to segment “video on demand” for users according to the Boston Globe:

    an Andover company is developing software to enable viewers to skip through movies, programs, and news broadcasts to find the segments they want to watch.

    Gotuit Media Corp. is announcing today it has landed $6 million in venture capital funding from Highland Capital Partners and several unnamed individual investors to promote its system, which it hopes to sell to cable giants such as Comcast Corp., AOL Time Warner, and Cablevision. Gotuit also has financial backing from Motorola, a leading maker of set-top cable TV boxes and related cable network gear.

    ….Gotuit’s system would enable viewers to skip through programs in the same way they could jump forward or backward on a music compact disc or digital video disc, by using their remote control to pull up an index on the TV screen and move forward or backward through the show.

    Gotuit employees would index shows with titles for each segment, such as marking different news segments, sports, and weather in a TV news show, or the various acts and ”Top 10” list on the ”Late Show with David Letterman.” The service would also be marketed to makers of personal video recorders such as Tivo. Gotuit would get a monthly fee per user from cable and recorder companies buying its system.

    ….Another feature of Gotuit’s system would enable people to record a ”personal vault” of content from on-demand programs they had requested, which would remain under the control of the cable company and be ”streamed” to them to thwart digital piracy. Logan said Gotuit hopes cable companies would see the vaults as a way to bolster customer loyalty and reduce defections to satellite TV.

Networks are not happy about the “skip the commercials” part, but as Gotuit founder and CEO Jim Logan said: “Imagine if you were reading The Boston Globe, and you couldn’t get to Page 2 until you had read all of Page 1. It would drive people crazy.” That puts it in a little better perspective.

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About Eric Olsen