* Clicker.com aims to be TV Guide of Internet age
* Analysts say approach is new, but competition will come
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Clicker.com launched a TV Guide for Internet television on Thursday, designed to provide a new way to find everything from old Seinfeld episodes to cooking shows.
“What is TV Guide for the next generation going to look like?” asked Chief Executive Jim Lanzone. His aim is for a comprehensive Internet guide that makes it easy to find programs, save them, click to them and get reminders.
Of course, the real TV Guide -- once a highly popular printed listing of television programs sold at grocery stores across the country -- still exists as a website of its own. And there are lots of other choices for consumers.
YouTube has videos, Hulu offers network TV programming and other material, BuddyTV offers listings and TV news, Channels.com advertises “no more hunting for videos.” And there are video search engines like Truveo and BlinX.
“There are sites where you can watch programs, and there are a range of sites that touch all the different pieces, but I am unaware of anyone who does all of these things,” said Greg Sterling, of Sterling Market Intelligence. He said that Clicker seems to be a candidate.
The company has $8 million in backing led by two venture capital firms, Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures.
Lanzone sees video moving away from ordinary television and more and more to the Web in coming years, making a service like Clicker.com ever more of a necessity.
The Clicker.com database allows consumers to chose programs in many ways, as well as enabling a form of social networking -- a necessity in the latest Web companies.
Allen Weiner, an analyst with Gartner, said Clicker.com wants to be “the interface between the consumer and video channels” and that it “takes a much more holistic view” than others.
But he said if Clicker.com is successful it can expect competition from major high tech firms like Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and possibly from TV makers. And he believes the task Clicker.com faces is tough.
“This is a market that has to prove itself. It is not easy to be comprehensive, and it’s not easy to update material.”
Reporting by David Lawsky; Editing Bernard Orr