The team behind the startup TouchCast only wants to completely reinvent the look and feel of the Internet. Specifically, they want to make video integral to the Web experience, rather than something is relegated to video sites or or cordoned off in siloed channels.
TouchCast is the brainchild of former TechCrunch edit in chief Erick Schonfeld, as well as entrepreneur Edo Segal (CEO) and Charley Miller. And while the team’s goals are lofty, initially, TouchCast starts with an app.
Specifically, today TouchCast is rolling out an app geared for content creators on the iPad (optimized for versions 4 and 5). What is it? Well, people will be able to create videos, and then integrate touch-screen friendly Web content within the clips using TouchCast. Or, non creators can watch/touch videos that have incorporated TouchCast’s tech.
On one level, TouchCast allows video creators to make their content look more like TV news—with lots of Web based graphics, charts, images, even text content. To help, that company is launching a slew of what it calls vApps—apps which allow video creators to populate their content with Twitter streams, Facebook pages, news headlines, comments, even other YouTube videos.
But the grander vision for TouchCast is to bring video to the center of the Web experience, with the rest of the Web moving into a supporting role.
“We see this as the age of the video Web,” said Schonfeld. But until recently, it’s been an isolated experience. The Internet has changed the distribution of video, but it hasn’t changed creativity or consumption. We think you can make video behave like the rest of the Web, browseable, under user control.
“We think our iPad app is most powerful authoring tool on IOS,” added Schonfeld, boldly. “Whether we’re the ones to do or somebody else…it’s going to happen. It’s inevitable.”
Down the road, TouchCast plans to roll out versions of the product for PCs. Schonfeld said the company is already talking to lots of large media companies about partnerships. “They are salivating over when they come in here,” he said. Advertisers are likely salivating as well, and Schonfeld pointed to them as a key constituency in the near term.
You will be able to watch TouchCast content on YouTube, but the vApps won’t be enabled on the platform—a big potential barrier to consumption/adoption. But an obvious question is, who is TouchCast for? Are the masses going to look to become video editors, just as everybody’s a photo-geek with Instagram? Or will TouchCast appeal mostly to wanna be Tarantinos?
“We are trying trying to create a new medium, a new format…so we want to get in the hands of as many creators are possible,” said Schonfeld. “Our expectation is it can be used by anybody. My eight-year old kid can use it. But initially, it will probably be media pros, bloggers, people comfortable with media creation who are looking for better tools. We’ll target the top 2 percent of content creators and they will bring in audience.”