Thursday, March 30, 2006

Eye on rival YouTube, Atom overhauls video site | Reuters.com

SAN FRANCISCO, March 30 (Reuters) - Online video and game company Atom Entertainment Inc. on Thursday unveiled a new service to let people upload their own videos and footage taken on mobile phones.

Privately held Atom, formed 5 years ago by the merger of Atom Films and Shockwave.com, hopes the new features on its AddictingClips Web site will draw more users and close the gap with YouTube, a popular site for sharing homemade video clips.

Atom Chief Executive Mika Salmi said YouTube probably receives more than 10 times the number of unique visitors than his site does, but added: "With all these new features we think it's a bit of a horse race."

Salmi said he expected the Atom site's traffic to grow fairly quickly. "Our goal would be to get to the size of YouTube," Salmi told Reuters, "but realistically, we think that in the next three to four months, we're going to be nipping at their heels."

Atom would highlight the best videos on AtomFilms, its Web site for showing independent short films, Salmi said. The new features add to the semiprofessional films and short films currently shown on the site.

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