Seattle24x7 is proud to welcome entrepreneur advocate, analyst, business consultant and columnist Susan Schreter to a new feature for our readers. Each week, Venture Q&A will answer the pivotal questions every young company must face to organize their business, raise capital, develop and market their products, and confront the dozens of daily questions which emerge along the path to success. Find expert answers in Venture Q&A! [24×7]
Amazon Launches TV, Movie Service
Amazon.com launched a digital video downloading service Thursday, ending months of speculation that Seattle’s largest e-tailer would be getting into the online TV and movie business. The announcement comes just days ahead of the expected launch of a movie download service from Apple’s iTunes Music Store this week.
Amazon’s service, dubbed Amazon Unbox, will offer thousands of television shows, movies and other videos from more than 30 studios and networks, the company said. TV shows will cost $1.99 per episode, and most movies will go for $7.99 to $14.99; movies can also be rented for $3.99. Hollywood studios already sell films through other online services, such as Movielink, CinemaNow and Guba, but they haven’t yet attracted a large following. [24×7]
Stash Your Video at StashSpace
When it comes to sharing a video snippet, a short speech or a sight gag, YouTube is all the rage, but quality format where do you turn when you want to archive video in longer pieces and in high quality format? And what if it’s not yet digitized? How can you record and edit it into final form keeping just the portions you choose? That’s where StashSpace.com comes in. The Winthrop, Wa.-based company offers free software that lets you convert old or new video right on your desktop, then upload up to two hours of video to a StashSpace online archive that’s free for one year. Low-cost credits can be purchased to extend the storage time or add more video to your Stash. DVDs of your movies can be ordered for as little as $15. Online video storage [24×7]
WaTechCenter Now Accepting Proposals for Grants
The P-I’s John Cook reports that the Washington Technology Center is now accepting proposals for its fall Research and Technology Development (RTD) Awards, grants of up to $300,000 that have been used to help build companies such as Calypso Medical and RealNetworks. Proposals are due Oct. 19, with an information session scheduled for Sept. 7 at the University of Washington. Get details here. [24×7]
WaMu Loves the Internet
With the housing market in a slump and interest rates on the rise, Washington Mutual’s looking to the Internet to help grow its retail banking business
The nation’s biggest savings and loan, long known for its aggressive branch-building strategy, is singing the praises of its online banking arm and plans to rely more on cyberspace to win new customer accounts, Washington Mutual (Charts) CEO Kerry Killinger said at its investor day conference in Seattle Thursday.
Killinger said the Seattle-based company – which is shortening its moniker to WaMu – is adding more than 700 checking accounts a day and hopes to grow over $1 million new checking accounts a year.
“The Internet is giving us more flexibility,” he said. “It’s taking off the heat of opening many more stores.”
In fact, Killinger said the company, which originally planned to open 150 to 250 branches by the end of the year, expects to come in at the low end of that estimate. [24×7]