There's been a lot of joking about just how many online video sharing startups there are, with new ones coming out just about every day. However, it's not just the little guys. While there's been some speculation that some big media player will come along and overpay for YouTube, at least one big media player believes it can build such a site on its own. AOL is apparently launching its own video portal that will offer both free and paid-downloads. While much of the press coverage focuses on how some of the paid content will be licensed from Time Warner competitors, perhaps a more interesting tidbit is the fact that it looks like Time Warner is spreading this video portal across multiple brands. Most of the press is simply referring to this as an "AOL" property -- but a News.com story talks about CNN's video site, which we're assuming is related (if not, then things are even more screwed up at Time Warner than we'd previously imagined). The CNN offering is designed to get people to upload newsworthy videos, which we've seen have been showing up in increasing frequency on other video hosting sites. If it's true that the AOL and CNN offerings are linked, then at least it suggests someone has finally started thinking about ways to actually leverage the various brands inside the Time Warner portfolio across each other. Still, at some point, you have to wonder how much value there is in simply copying what everyone else has already done, rather than offering something that's convincingly better and different.
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