Clicker is the next step in the evolution of streaming video. It solves the problem of keeping track of where certain shows are available and when new episodes are released. Between big portal sites like YouTube and Hulu, Clicker also checks network sites (like Fox, CBS, and NBC) to compile where streaming videos will be available for you to watch.
The site aims to be the “TV Guide” of online streaming video. I know a number of people that don’t even have basic TV channels and purely rely on streaming video to keep them entertained. Largely keeping track of all the different sources for shows, however, is the most complicated matter. Clicker aims to be the only source you need. It is currently in private beta so you’ll either have to request an invitation or hang tight until they open to the public, but here’s a walkthrough of this upcoming service:
Clicker comes from the mind of the former CEO of Ask.com and starts with a simple homepage once you’ve logged in. Yes, you have to log in; that requirement might just be for the beta, but there are plenty of features (which I’ll get to later) that makes it worth creating an account. From the homepage, you can see some new or popular shows or easily browse for a show to watch by title or category.
The first thing you’ll notice if you browse for a show is the sheer number of shows that Clicker keeps track of. From Clicker’s About page:
Clicker contains more than 300,000 episodes, from over 5,200 shows, from over 1,200 networks – in addition to 1,200 movies (soon to be 14,000 movies with addition of Netflix), and 50,000 music videos from 20,000 artists.
If you’re overwhelmed by that number of shows, you can also perform a search by title from the top of any page. Clicker only keeps track of professional-quality shows, so a lot of the garbage from YouTube and other video sites is filtered out.
When you find a show you’re interested in, you’ll get plenty of info like categories the show falls in, episodes available by season or all episodes by season. You can also find other related shows that you might like in the right column.
Shows that allow embeddable content are the best kind. You can watch those shows with all the options right within Clicker. Many shows, however, are not embeddable. For those, when you hover over the “Watch Now” button, it will pop-up and show you the external sources where you can watch the episode like the network’s website. When you click the link, it will conveniently take you directly to the episode.
Clicker is particularly nice if you’re looking for something to watch. You can check out the trends to see popular TV episodes, TV shows, web episodes, web shows, and all by category in the last week or last month.
Along with shows, you can also find music videos by artist or category. Under the music page, you’ll find music videos get the same treatment as the other videos on the site.
Now for the reasons, that Clicker is a service you want to have an account with: Playlists and season passes. When you find a show you want to watch, you can easily keep track of it by adding it to your playlist. Under the “Add to Playlist” button, you can choose: Add All Episodes, All New Episodes, or Most Recent Season. This gives you a lot of flexibility in watching for the episodes you want to see.
Inside the playlist, you can check the red button per episode if you want to mark something as you’ve seen it before. Here you’ll be kept up to date on any of the shows you’re interested in. If you want the new episodes, you can find when they’re available here after you’ve added the show to your playlist. Under the Season Pass tab, you can see all the shows you have Season Pass “subscriptions” to; the new episodes will come in through the playlist.
Upcoming features to look forward to that should emerge while still in beta (from their blog):
– Continue to expand our coverage of shows across all forms of online media: TV, Movies, Web Originals and Music
– Delve even deeper into television and television-quality programming from non-fiction topic categories such as Travel, Home & Garden, Sports, and Live Events
– Introduce recommendations that will hopefully feel like we’re reading your mind
– Expand to cover paid content from sources such as iTunes and Netflix
– Let you access Clicker in more places, from your iPhone to your TV
– Open the doors so you, our users, can add and edit the information on Clicker for every show or episode
– Make Clicker more social with features so you can share and discover great programs
Along with the convenience that Clicker provides, I think it deserves props simply for not being called Clickr. Check out the site and sign up for the beta to get a sneak peak of Clicker: www.clicker.com