Fanhattan Seeks To Unify Web Movie Services

There are a lot more movies and television shows on the Internet than there once were, but viewers often have to work really hard to hunt across different services for what they want. A company called Fanhattan is trying to stitch together as many of those services as it can to make life easier for Web watchers.

Fanhattan, previously known as Vuze, on Thursday announced a service of the same name that will provide a single interface from which consumers can search for movies and television shows from a variety of distributors of online video. In theory, the distributors Fanhattan can search include Netflix, Apple’s iTunes Store, Hulu, Amazon and others, though Fanhattan doesn’t yet have deals with those providers.

The problem the company is seeking to address will be familiar to power users of Web video. No single source of online video provides anything remotely approaching a comprehensive selection of movies and television shows, in large part because of arcane Hollywood licensing schemes that dictate when certain material can be made available through which distribution vehicle and under which pricing models (rental, sales and subscription services).

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