Lycos launches Lycos MIX

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Lycos Inc., a destination for broadband entertainment content, has launched Lycos MIX, the next iteration of Lycos's proprietary watch and chat technology.
Located at http://mix.lycos.com , the new tool allows groups of people to pull video clips from different sources on the Web into one MIX playlist, creating a community around shared interests and topics.

"The strategy behind Lycos MIX is to create a real-time socialization experience around video content," Jaimie Riehle, director of product management at Waltham, MA-based Lycos. "Video and social networking are two of the hottest market segments on the Web, and Lycos is in a unique position to leverage both."

Users respond to content with content, combining and collaborating on creating a video collection or MIX for viewing and interacting, all in one place.

Unlike stand-alone video sites, Lycos MIX puts the video experience in the hands of viewers, giving them full control over playlist creation.

"For marketers, this provides the opportunity to create a playlist of selected content with a single, static, emailable/postable URL, to share that playlist and to create socialization around that content," Mr. Riehle said. "For example, a marketer could create a playlist of its video messages, send out the link to that playlist, then interact via chat in real time with anyone who visits it. This would be a great way to efficiently gather feedback on test messages or multiple campaigns before roll-out."

Lycos MIX is not making any attempt to monetize against videos coming from other providers, nor is it hosting such videos, so outside providers still benefit from any pre or post roll advertising attached to the videos.

As Lycos lines up partners with licensed content, it will monetize against that licensed content directly.

Unique functionality includes a "MIX It" bookmarklet feature that allows users to quickly and easily add videos from other sites to their playlists without cutting or pasting URL's. The comment and rating system also allow users to rate entire playlists as opposed to just individual pieces of video content.
Both PC and MAC users can access Lycos MIX. Additionally, Internet Explorer and Windows, as well as Safari and Firefox browsers all support Lycos MIX.

"The challenge that Lycos MIX addresses, and hopefully solves, is the socialization around video content," Mr. Riehle said. "At most video host sites, socialization or interaction among viewers and the person who uploaded the video is limited to asynchronous comments."

He also said that there is little or no opportunity for real time communication, nor any awareness of whom else may be watching that video at the same time. These platforms do little to create community around common, shared interests. MIX solves that in a number of ways, including the real time chat room experience and the collaborative nature of contributing videos to an established MIX.

"This is in addition to more permanent footprints that users can leave via ratings and comments," Mr. Riehle said. "In today's content-driven world, the sharing of content is often replied to with more content, i.e., I send you a link of a video that I like, you respond with a link to another video. MIX allows and promotes that all happening in a real time experience between people with shared interests. It advances the paradigm of community around content."

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