Networks' 'Own' Version Of YouTube Finally Coming
from the and-so-it-goes dept
For many months there have been not-very-well-concealed rumors that the various TV networks were talking with each other about creating their own YouTube competitor -- though, from the start the idea sounded destined for trouble. The networks couldn't agree with each other on the revenue split, showing that they were (once again) more focused on the short-term revenue possibilities, rather than the long-term opportunities to build a new platform that actually served viewers' needs better. The latest news is that News Corp. and NBC Universal are about to announce such a platform, though some suggest that there may be last minute additions from other content companies. No one seems totally clear on exactly how this new "platform" will work -- and if it will be a destination site on its own or simply a centralized system for distributing videos to other sites. Already, the entity has worked out deals to put videos on, well, just about everyone but Google's video sites. Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL and MySpace will all have access to the videos. Without more details, it's hard to get a sense of how good or bad this move is likely to be. While we're skeptical that these companies will get it right (there's a lot of history of them getting these types of things very wrong), it's a good sign that they're focused on the distribution element of it rather than retaining complete control over the videos. It's also a good sign that all of these content providers (even, to a certain extent, Viacom) seem to be recognizing that rather than just shutting down these new distribution avenues, they need to learn how to use them to their advantage. That's definitely an improvement over where we were a few years ago. There are plenty of ways the networks can (and probably will) screw this up, but at least they're doing something.