LYCOS, Inc., a community destination for broadband entertainment content, has launched LYCOS Cinema, a web watch and chat video experience. With LYCOS Cinema, web users can talk at the movies. The 26 million visitors to LYCOS can now watch and chat with LYCOS Cinema's Screening Room platform. LYCOS Cinema is a video-based socialization product to combine various Web 2.0 applications into one platform, allowing multiple users to watch simultaneously and chat about video content in real-time.
The watch and chat platform provides interactive, real-time, user-driven video viewing. Digital rights owners, artists, and content managers can release content to a VIP or general audience with direct interaction, providing screening and sampling opportunities, marketing and promotion, and opportunities for new revenue streams. Content is securely wrapped in Microsoft's DRM technology provided by Microsoft's Windows Media Rights Manager, to protect artists' rights. LYCOS Cinema lets users host their own Screening Rooms, inviting others to watch video content, while the host of the room controls the video experience. Screening Room hosts can pause, rewind, and fast-forward video streams, and most importantly, chat with other Screening Room viewers. Users can view profiles of other guests in the Screening Room audience and build buddy lists for future watch and chat sessions. Users may also congregate in virtual lobbies within the LYCOS Cinema environment, browsing lists of available screenings, conversing with other users with whom they can watch and chat. For added privacy, Screening Room hosts can password-protect screenings, making watch and chat sessions available by invitation only.
Future product enhancements will allow users to rate, review, post questions, and recommend content. Additional features will enable independent film producers and content providers to upload videos while moderated chat capabilities make director, actor, or subject expert chats a reality. LYCOS Cinema users will have the ability to choose from different genres of episodic television, film and video content, introducing classic libraries and cult favorites to entirely new audiences. Users coming to LYCOS Cinema at launch can view films and broadcast video content including award-winning independent films, "The Champagne Club" and "Ants," contemporary underground cult films like, "Born 2B Gangsta," featuring Coolio and Ice-T, and classic cult films like, "Night of the Living Dead."