Remember that video that went viral awhile back of the cat falling off the roof, set perfectly to the sound of AWOLNATION’s song “Sail”? See above if you don’t. Because the audio corresponds so well with the action moments, the video is mesmerizing. And hilarious. Until you wonder what happened to the cat who fell off the roof.
Well now the power of that viral vid is in your hands. Coub, released in the iOS store today, lets anyone with an iPhone make a ridiculous audio-timed meme. The iPhone-less among us can use the web app.
Here’s how it works: Coub lets users create a short auto looping video, and then add a separate soundtrack underneath. The video length is limited to ten seconds, but the soundtrack can be longer, leading to some potentially very trippy results.
See the difference between a Coub and a Vine:
It’s subtle, but if you pay attention you can see the break in the Vine and not the Coub.
Whereas Vines are used to film users’ lives or to tell weird micro stories, Coub is focused more on compiling existing visuals and audio from pop culture or business and turning them into funny GIF-like videos or beautiful mini commercials. The flexibility with the audio soundtrack and the lack of a break between the looped clips makes all the difference. The founders call the result a “Living Photograph.”
Coub’s all the rage in Russia, where the two brothers who co-founded the company with a third friend have managed to garner 230 million unique video views per month and 29 million monthly users. Now they’re bringing the technology to the U.S., with an iOS app store launch today. It only took them a month of re-submitting to Apple and getting re-rejected before their product passed the bar. Apparently there was too much “adult content” on it.
It’s not a surprise, because in addition to being a “living photo” for brands to use to advertise their content, Coub is also a stoner kid’s dream. The sort who can quote every line to Dumb and Dumber and spend hours making memes online in the hopes they go viral. It’s amazing what looped audio can do to make a funny clip ever funnier. Case in point, for your viewing pleasure: a raccoon playing the sprinkler harp and a guy rocking out at a basketball game.
With the Coub technology, almost any video could be timed to the right music for comic or dramatic effect. The resulting clips can be embedded anywhere, posted to social media channels or emailed. I suspect we’ll be seeing a ton of these in the coming months.
How will the company make money? As is so often the case, that part’s less clear. The service is free so advertisers and others don’t have to pay for it. Neither do users. Coubs don’t come with ads. Who knows? Maybe they’ll eventually sell to Twitter.