FirstLook is Ready For its Close-Up

Following a multimillion dollar infrastructure overhaul last year of the company’s streaming technology, idealab! prodigy FirstLook Inc. reintroduced itself today to the online community as an official syndicator of Hollywood-based content for media sites and online retailers.

Formally a destination portal for consumers to access streaming previews of movies and music, FirstLook revised its business model to stay current with changing demands in the online entertainment industry and the growing audience of high-speed broadband users.

“In our early life, we were a business-to-consumer business,” said Rand Bleimeister, FirstLook founder and CEO. “When that market collapsed we realized that entertainment businesses were struggling, so we decided to create a more distinct product and maximize our value.”

Through partnerships with film studios, record labels, video game publishers, and television networks, FirstLook has amassed a database of more than 3.5 million previews of movies, DVDs, video games, music, and television shows.

FirstLook launched its new model with longstanding affiliate Microsoft Corp. to provide streaming video and audio content for WindowsMedia.com. Representatives for FirstLook would not reveal financial details of the deal.

Other deals on the horizon for FirstLook include integrating its entire library into Infospace’s broadband platform of services, and providing streaming feature film trailers to the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and New York’s Newsday, as part of a deal with Tribune Co.

Not too shabby for a first day’s work.

Using the company’s flagship technology Client Extranet, syndication clients can access FirstLook’s searchable database for preferred content. Client Extranet provides relevant HTML, Java, and XML code for easy integration into Web environments.

“We’ve built an easy-to-use Extranet for our clients that allows them to grab streams of content they are looking for in addition to supplemental video material,” said Bleimeister. “Consumer demand for Hollywood content continues to rise as does the need for outsourced solutions that don’t require additional staff or technology resources to maintain.”

Based in Los Angeles, FirstLook is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Cox Communications, Cox Enterprises, idealab!, Intel Corporation, and Goldman Sachs.

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