Video discovery service Rockpack released its iPad and iPhone app today, offering a highly visual platform that allows users to create, share, and subscribe to personalized video channels. The British startup is one of many companies trying to un-clutter YouTube and the rest of the online video space. It hopes that by offering users “thousands of pre-made channels” and giving them the ability to create their own, it might help solve the web’s video discovery problem.
Rockpack’s pre-loaded channels are divided into categories and subcategories (such as “Sports” and “Cricket” or “Sports” and “NHL Video”), but users can also create their own based on who they follow and what their interests are. User are also able to add any video they see to a particular channel by hitting a “+” sign in the top-right corner of the video. The channels can be further personalized with a cover photo, from Instagram and other services, and shared with friends through Rockpack, Twitter, or Facebook.
Essentially, Rockpack’s created a visual RSS reader for videos in which your subscriptions are friends, experts, and interests. Rockpack’s advisory board includes actor Stephen Fry. In the app announcement, he says, “The joy and pleasure of Rockpack is being able to easily curate one’s own channel packing it with one’s own passions, influences and guilty secrets, and to happen upon those of others.” Fry was an investor in Summly, a mobile news reader app bought by Yahoo for a cool $30 million in March.
Other members of the advisory board include Canongate Books publisher and managing director Jamie Byng, Ooyala co-founder and chief product officer Sean Knapp, William Morris Endeavor’s Elizabeth Sheinkman and Sol Parker, Topshop chief marketing officer Justin Cooke, Diagonal View founder Matt Heiman, Machinima co-founder Philip DeBevoise, and The Independent Group digital managing director Zach Leonard.
There’s some overlap with Rockpack’s initial content partners — CollegeHumor, National Geographic, Universal Music, Warner Bros. and Topshop — and its advisory board, but that’s mainly because the platform is also an outlet for video publishers to create custom, branded channels.
Rockpack also expects to expand their app to additional platforms within the next year.