Studio.Stupeflix.com was a web-based software service. It allowed users to mix various formats like photos, music, videos, maps, and text into digital content. In describing the software, the tech website Techcrunch.com called it "a radically new way of creating, processing, and editing online video."
Today, anyone attempting to find Studio.Stupeflix.com is met with the announcement "www.studio.stupeflax.com's server IP address could not be found." What happened to a service that was once described as making it possible for a user to "act like a superstar movie maker?"
We took some time to follow the history of Stupeflix to get to the bottom of why the service would later decide to shut down.
The History of Studio.Stupeflix.com
Stupeflix was established in August 2008, in Paris, France. The service indicated that its objective was to give "people, and developers, video creation superpowers." During its early days, the service used phrases like "You're in control", "Yes you can", and "seriously fast" to advertise its offering.
Stupeflix had three founding members: Nicolas Steegmann, François Lagunas, and Etienne Albert. The three had met while working for a French software company called Exalead.
In describing what each founding member did for the company, Studio.Stupeflix.com noted that Steegmann's "natural charisma and orange shirt opportunely balance the more or less severe geekiness of the rest of the team." Lagunas is described as having "a genuine passion and a real talent for solving common problems using simple techniques." Regarding Albert, the site says, "Like a master watchmaker, he has a passion for pure and clean interfaces."
The Service and Features
Stupeflix promised users several features, including "16 beautiful video editing styles," the ability to "make videos up to 20 minutes long," and "add music + voice over", and many more. We took some time to look closely at the company's services and found at least four categories.
Stupeflix Studio: Is described by the company as "the best online video editing application" adding that it was "light, fast and flexible."
Stupeflix TV: Made it possible for users to "watch and create real-time web TV channels showing the latest Twitter updates and Flickr images." Watch a channel with content created using Stupeflix TV below.
Stupeflix API: Is described by its developers as the "automated video production platform to power high-volume, high-quality video applications."
Stupeflix Factory: Made it possible for users to customize their own Stupeflix Editor and add it to their website.
But what did those who used the service think about it? Writing for the American publishing platform, Medium, a user advises, "Forget the gas-fired video editing software that dominate the market. Stupeflix has the merit of offering an intuitive interface that does not require long learning." On Google Play, the software had a rating of 4.7 out of 5.
The service made its money from generating and selling the videos for a small fee.
Seedcamp 2008 Winner
In 2008, Stupeflix was announced as one of the seven winners of the Seedcamp Week. Seedcamp is a seed-stage venture capital fund with headquarters in London.
Each of the startups that end up on the Seedcamp Week winners' list, each year, has to pitch to mentors and investors for the whole week. Each winner goes home with €50,000 (about $59,000), and Seedcamp also invests in the company.
Writing for the British publication, The Guardian, Jemima Kiss describes the Seedcamp Week as being like the "Dragon's Den, but without the bullshit and the TV prima donnas." To show how tough the competition is, Saul Klein, the convener of the Seedcamp Week, is quoted by Kiss congratulating each of the winning companies, noting, "You should all feel proud of having the guts to get here."
Release of API to Generate 1,000s of Videos
In 2009, Stupeflix announced that it had released "a radically new way of creating, processing and editing online video." In an article published by the tech website, Techcrunch.com, Mike Butcher explains that when using this API, instead of editing the video, you edit the Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML is the language defining a set of rules for encoding documents so that they can be read by both humans and machines.
Butcher further explains that the new feature enabled a user to edit video just by changing a tag, or by telling their engine to run a different kind of effect for every video they wanted to generate. He explains that in practical use, it was possible for an e-commerce website to "suck in its inventory of pictures and information automatically to create a huge library of product videos – which are a great way to lift sales."
GoPro Acquires Stupeflix
In March 2016, the American technology company, GoPro, announced that it was acquiring Stupeflix and another company called Vemory (a service that automatically turned photos into video). For both companies, GoPro paid $105 million. The employees from both companies joined GoPro.
Writing for Forbes, Ryan Mac reports that in the acquisition, GoPro wanted to take advantage of Stupeflix's Replay. Mac describes Replay as the software that allowed "users to select clips and photos and then automatically combines them into a complete video with transitions, effects, and music."
For Matt Burns, writing for TechCrunch, GoPro certainly needed Stupeflix. He notes that before the acquisition, GoPro users were enduring the pain of editing the content they captured on GoPro's mobile app. Burns notes that while GoPro was great at "building hardware and developing a brand," it could not claim the same success in creating software.
What Then Happened to Studio.Stupeflix.com
In the second half of 2018, GoPro announced that Stupeflix Studio was shutting down. The announcement, signed by The Stupeflix Team, says, "After August 31, 2018, the service will be shut down, and you will not be able to access the service or any of your media stored on the service." It continues, "We, therefore, suggest that you migrate any of your media before that date to avoid losing it."
No information is provided regarding why GoPro decided to shut down a company that it purchased only two years earlier.