Animoto, is a web-based application that, with the click of a button, produces videos using images and music that a user selects. Using their patent-pending Artificial Intelligence developed to think like an actual editor & director the service is aimed at consumers and businesses alike.
Self-Service Video Production For Business:
In late June 2008 they released Animoto for Business aimed at the corporate and SMB sectors allowing them to create videos for commercial use. The service is subscription based and costs $99 for three months of access for one user or $249 for one year. Businesses not only gain access to the application itself but a library of music for commercial use and unlimited DVD-quality video downloads.
Here is an example video created for a Prudential Real Estate
How it works:
The Animoto Cinematic AI is able to think like an actual director and editor to combine the images and music into the genre and sounds of the music selected and display the images in a relevant fashion. The technology takes into account every nuance of a song: the genre, song structure, energy, rhythm, instrumentation, and vocals. No two videos are ever the same; even videos generated with an identical set of images and music will each have a completely distinct set of motion design.
Video Delivery and Quality:
The resulting videos can be emailed, downloaded in MP4 and ISO formats or embedded in web pages. While the Business accounts get free, unlimited DVD-quality downloads consumers and end users will have to pay. Animoto just recently announced pay-to-download services for their high-quality videos.
DVD-quality videos are formatted in widescreen 864×480 resolution and 24 frames per second. Downloading a video will set you back $5 each or you can order DVDs for $20 plus shipping and handling.
Animoto is also expanding into the social networking arena with YouTube production tools, a Facebook application and MySpace embedding capabilities.
All consumer videos will feature a large Animoto logo at the end while the Business-level videos will have a smaller ‘Powered by Animoto’ logo at the end.
For consumers 30-second videos are free while premium services allow you to create longer videos with more production features and options.
That’s a Wrap:
Clients of Animoto business include real estate, restaurants, photographers, vineyards, sports clubs, websites and more. Even Getty Images uses the service to highlight offerings at their site.
Animoto could be a great way to make dynamic, low-cost, high-impact videos from a handful of images and your own music (if you have the rights to use that music commercially). It can also act as a distribution outlet with the Facebook app and the ability to embed the videos in to web pages already in place.
At 30 seconds this could allow companies to great their own video advertisements for an extremely low cost. It could also allow companies to create promotional videos for their websites or full DVDs for marketing their products or generating video-based media kits. Animoto may be a viable alternative for low cost video production.
$99 for one user to have 3 months of access to the service is far less than you would pay at many places for them to even begin work on a 30 second video. There are of course limitations to the service and what the AI can actually accomplish, but looking at the demo videos on the site you can see there is some merit to the work they are doing and it should only improve over time.