Sony announced earlier that it has akquired the social video sharing platform grouper for $65 million through its Sony Pictures Division.
Although this is no real surprise, as sharing user-uploaded video on dedicated sites is a hot topic right now, the interesting part ist that Sony is actually showing a strategic move here. As the only major studio in Hollywood, Sony does not own a distribution channel like a television network. So the obvious idea behind the grouper-deal is to get in control of a popular online site and, most important, grouper's unique P2P file sharing platfrom. So it is to expect that Sony will soon start delivering not only low-quality video content through the website but also higher quality video like trailers and featurettes through P2P.
Now, a few weeks after the deal, more and more critics on and offline start to ask if buying the T-Online backed venture (grouper collected $5.5 mio in round one) was such a great idea. With only half a million unique visitors a month grouper is far behind such giants as youtube, which attracts over 16 mio unique users every month.
We will see...