A new social video startup launches today, offering a new way for viewers to experience videos on Netflix, Hulu and YouTube.
Scener’s new platform allows anyone to create, share and watch synchronized commentary about streamed movies and TV shows. These “hosts” appear in the picture-in-picture panel that overlays the video, allowing for a more social viewing experience. (Think “Twitch” for the rest of us.)
Social media influencers, such as YouTube’s Filup Molina and breakout Vine star Hannah Pilkes, have narrated favorite movies, TV episodes and other videos. Pilkes offers her comedic play-by-play reaction to the The Santa Clarita Diet, Gossip Girl and Friends, while Molina unpacks fan theories behind Breaking Bad.
Other hosts include pop culture expert and best-selling author of Seinfeldia, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, who lends her expert insight into plot development for Seinfeld, and Marc Bernardin, Marvel and DC comic writer and co-host of podcast Fatman on Batman with filmmaker Kevin Smith, gives an in-depth, who provides a writer’s perspective on Sin City.
Formerly incarcerated activists Jayda Rasberry and James Nelson give an insider’s look at what prison is really like while watching Orange is the New Black.
In total, the platform debuts with over 600 hosted titles.
”Over 20 years ago, we at Real revolutionized media by inventing the world’s first commercial Internet streaming system,” said Rob Glaser, executive chairman of Scener and founder and CEO of RealNetworks Inc. “With the launch of Scener, we’re reinventing the streaming experience itself.”
Joe Braidwood, Scener co-founder and CMO, says the platform can broaden the dialog between consumers and makers of content.
“Audiences are hungry for new platforms, tools and communities to enhance the traditional way we watch films and video so that there is more cross-pollination, fan-theories, and creative feedback,” Braidwood said. “Our goal is to enhance storytelling and story consumption: with platforms like Scener, studios, directors, producers, and writers will be guided to make more informed decisions about the content their audiences crave.”
For now, Scener is available only on computer — a logical place to start, since it hopes to reach millennial viewers who are apt to be watching video on their laptops in their bedrooms or dorm rooms. It’s an extension to the Chrome browser that overlays the host’s commentary, and viewer reaction, on top of the video.
Anyone can use the software to offer play-by-play analysis of a favorite movie or TV episode. Commentary can be shared publicly to help grow and build new audiences, or can be invite-only for friends and family. By signing up to Scener, viewers can engage further by liking and following their favorite hosts and commenting on their videos.
“The vision for Scener came from the desire to rewind social media commentary for the big moments in Game of Thrones episodes,” said Daniel Strickland, Co-Founder and CTO of Scener. “Since then, we’ve been hard at work to create a whole new way for people to watch their favorite shows and movies together… and we’re just getting started. It will be amazing to see how creative communities will use Scener to engage audiences in delightful and unexpected ways.”