It really is amazing how little entertainment industries recognize how clips of their content online promotes the rest of their content. When people talk about scenes in TV shows or movies, it's become quite natural to search for video of those clips to show. Such clips don't take away from the commercial value of the movie or television show, they enhance it -- giving people additional reasons to watch the full version. Yet, rather than recognizing that, you have entertainment firms like Viacom suing YouTube
for $1 billion for facilitating such a free marketing tool. However, it appears that not everyone at Viacom is thinking so narrowly. Paramount Pictures, which is owned by Viacom, has now started releasing snippets from its various movies
for fans to make use of within Facebook. It's a little silly that it's only on Facebook, but given the lawsuit against YouTube, Paramount execs probably recognized they had to stay away from YouTube. This definitely seems like a good idea, though it's a bit amusing to have a Paramount exec say that this project could become "ad supported" at some point. Does he not realize that the clips are ads themselves?
Also, the article points out that just getting permission to get these clips online is quite difficult, and other studios probably won't follow. A big part of the problem? All the different people who have to give their permission, thanks to ridiculous royalty policies, like the one the TV/movie writer's guild fought for. In other words, just as we predicted, the agreement cutting the writers in on online royalties is making it more difficult
for the studios to adapt to the web. When everyone has to give approval and get a cut, you get innovation by committee -- and that rarely works. You almost always get someone who will veto the effort. In fact, it's rather impressive that Paramount was able to get any movie clips up at all.