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CNN Seeking Eyewitness Footage

The network is licensing Blip.tv software to help people around the world send in professional-quality video from cell phones and video cameras.
CNN is teaming up with blip.tv to give citizen journalists resources to broadcast news reports on the network.

Blip.tv, one of several sites hosting and distributing Web-based TV shows and video blogs, announced last week that CNN is licensing its software to enable people around the world to send professional quality footage. The two companies are trying to encourage people to upload footage, from cell phones, camcorders and digital cameras, directly to CNN for its I-Report initiative, the network, the Internet and other platforms.

Blip.tv also announced similar deals with the Oxygen Network and the William Shatner DVD Club, to encourage people to contribute content for contests, promotions and Web-based features. "Corporations are recognizing the importance of giving their customers a voice," Mike Hudack, CEO of Blip.tv, said through a prepared statement. "With tremendous competition in the market, media companies are embracing user-generated content as a way to build strong relationships with their viewers while continuing to reinforce their brands. We have built software and created a business model that benefits both our business clients and the video bloggers on our site."

The Internet media company allows content creators to distribute videos through blogs, iTunes, video aggregators, search engines and more. Blip.tv lets anyone create and maintain sole ownership of their content and supports Creative Commons licensing. The company allows producers to opt-in to advertising and splits ad revenues with them.

Blip.tv's software and tools allow companies to attract, collect and manage user-generated content. Oxygen recently licensed blip.tv software for a promotion connected to Mo'Nique's F.A.T Chance, in which plus-sized women competed in an online beauty pageant by submitting photos, videos and comments to a Web site. The William Shatner DVD club has licensed blip.tv's software for a contest held to find a spokesperson.

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