Businessweek has an article covering possible takeover targets now that Sony has paid an obscene $65 million for video site Grouper. What made Grouper an interesting case was that they offered a bit more value add than traditional sites like YouTube. Grouper offered free software that would let you edit your movies and add effects. It was a stripped down video editing suite that gave people a bit more control over their content.
I think that is a sound business decision. I think uploading videos is good, but being able to manipulate those videos and polish them is going to be a big part of the market. That is currently a service that YouTube doesn't offer. This is one of the reasons that I didn't like the list in the Businessweek article mentioned above - it doesn't include Jumpcut.
Jumpcut is one of my favorite RIAs, and I think it could set the bar for how valuable RIAs are going to be. It offers a very similar service to Grouper, but its software is done entirely via Flash over the web. From what I can tell, its user base is smaller than Groupers, but because Jumpcut's application is an RIA, that means it can be used on a Mac, whereas Grouper's software is only available to Windows XP users.
So will cross platform be valued by acquirers? There is already some good video editing software for OS X, including iMovie, which ships with all Macs. This may mean that a company like Grouper can offer a solution for Windows users and it will be good enough. Will media companies and other potential buyers be enticed by the prospect of RIA video editing software that can run everywhere and therefore value Jumpcut accordingly? That's the million dollar question. But because of the white-hot nature of the video space, this is something to watch. I have no doubt that the enterprise will adopt RIAs, but I would also like to see signs that RIAs will be valued by traditional media and web companies. This could be that barometer.