NBC Says Online Shows Are Going Great, Even With YouTube's Nasty Influence

from the boob-tube dept

One of the bigger stories of the day has been Viacom’s decision to tell YouTube to yank 100,000 clips of its content from the site. Part of the background to this story is the traditional inability (or unwillingness) of entertainment companies to realize the promotional value of this type of content, and how it can drive users to their content in other, monetizable formats. One of the persistent sentiments in the comments to the Viacom story, phrased in different ways, seems to be that by having these clips on YouTube, there’s no way for Viacom to “profit” from online content, but that’s simply not the case (if for no other reason than there’s nothing saying that only one party can profit in this situation). Check out this seemingly unrelated story about how NBC’s figuring out that making its shows available online is a good thing, and the advertisements it puts around shows on its site are very effective. This, of course, is despite NBC putting content of its shows on YouTube. Why would it do such a crazy thing? Because it realizes that the YouTube clips have promotional value that drives viewers to its broadcast network or its own site to watch full-length shows, where it can monetize them. It offers users a different, and in some ways better, experience than YouTube does — for instance, they can see full-length shows, and often at higher quality. NBC is making its content more accessible to users, both by putting it online, but also by using YouTube to promote it. That’s how networks can “profit” from the likes of YouTube: because it’s really not competition for their own products, it’s promotion for them. Add that promotion to increased accessibility and availability of those products, and you might have the beginnings of a reasonable new-media strategy.


Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “NBC Says Online Shows Are Going Great, Even With YouTube's Nasty Influence”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
19 Comments
Yo ho ho... says:

They are both right...

Remember the old adage…

“There is no such thing as bad PR — just PR”

So, whether you are using YouTube for distribution, or the media as your patsy to make youtube look like a harbor for a den of thieves, either way the networks draw attention to their shows.

C’mon, who are we kidding? Does anybody actually believe that more than 25 people total in the entire US actually watches any non-porn video clip on their PC for more than 30 seconds before they start losing interst because of quality, screen size, etc?

The fact that the networks continue to pretend that YouTube is a distribution mechanism stealing audience is just ludicrous. If the media stopped making stories out of this, the networks would let the whole issue drop knowing that their ratings haven’t changed one iota.

Reed says:

Wouldn't it be fun....

Wouldn’t it be fun if the one day corporations where made to pay sites like Youtube that promote their content for free? They could also pay royalties to a business that plays their music for promotional value.

Does this really sound that crazy…. Don’t Coke and Pepsi pay people in other countries to drive around with advertisements on their cars?

Furthermore what about all those nasty software priates! Shouldn’t Microsoft pay them for the fact that they made Windows the most popular OS in the world?

bud says:

Working for royalties

Companies like Viacom and the RIAA ( being a group of member companies) have not figured out how to make money in cyberspace. Instead, they need to take legal action (the same as calling mommy). I am very happy watching my favorite TV dramas and sitcoms when I want.

Companies like Viacom could also do very well using the ad sponsor technique and probably run Blockbuster and Netflix scrambling for survival. The only people that can and should sit back and receive royalties are the artists themselves. Of course, this is just my view, I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Bill says:

Let Viacom control their own content

If Viacom decides to shoot themselves in the foot by limiting their own content then so what? If they put pressure on Google to cut them in on the profits then more power to them! It is their content so they can do what they want with it. These people are not stupid (most of them) and if they think their strategy beats NBC’s then let them make their move. If it was a bad decision and they lose “profit” because of it they will suffer the consequences. I’m sure there can be a good symbiotic relationship if both parties play their cards right.

Peter says:

Oh NBC

First a night of no-laughtrack comedy
Now online shows
You may not be number one in the ratings
But you’re number one in my heart

After Colbert

“C’mon, who are we kidding? Does anybody actually believe that more than 25 people total in the entire US actually watches any non-porn video clip on their PC for more than 30 seconds before they start losing interst because of quality, screen size, etc?”

That might be true for Deal or No Deal, but not Heroes, Studio 60, The Office.

As for quality, search for the CN clone wars shorts on youtube. They look pretty good. Or better yet, download an HDTV rip of Heros from the pirate bay and compare the quality on your computer screen to any show on a non-hdtv screen.

Kenny says:

Viacom, NBC, YouTube

Viacom isn’t panicking. Viacom is protecting its content. They have chosen not to allow *unauthorized* posting of their content. This is an important distinction. If they don’t take this stand, they are setting a precedent which might later be used against them when they try to stop other sites.

Instead, Viacom should order YouTube to remove all Viacom content posted by members and repost those videos under the Viacom username.

This precedent goes back to English Common Law. If a farmer permits everyone to cross his land without express permission, after a time it becomes an easement, which means he can no longer prohibit passage.

Property is property. Stealing just because you can doesn’t make it right.

Mousky says:

Re: Viacom, NBC, YouTube

Viacom isn’t panicking. Viacom is protecting its content.

Viacom is being stupid. Who do you think uploaded those clips? Employees at NBC, ABC and FOX? No, it was fans who uploaded those clips. Fans that the networks use to justify charging premium rates to companies for commercial spots. This is free and positive advertising for Viacom.

Viacom should order YouTube to remove all Viacom content posted by members and repost those videos under the Viacom username.

There is a huge difference between CBS uploading a clip and a fan uploading a clip. When a fan uploads a clip, that means that they like that clip and that they want to share it with others. Many businesses call this “word-of-mouth” advertising and many businesses rely heavily on it to generate more business.

Property is property. Stealing just because you can doesn’t make it right.

No and no. When I upload a short clip of a CBS show, I am not depraving the owner of the content his rights to possess, use, or destroy the content. No theft has occurred. It’s called copyright infringement.

ChronoFish (user link) says:

NBC had it, then lost it

http://blog.chronofish.com/?p=78

NBC receives an A+ for effort – but C- for implementation.

They have gone over the top with Heroes, but have taken a step backward on The Office.

NBC has removed the “Last Episode” and it now is only showing the “Two Minute Rewind”. Instead they have opted to move the show to iTunes – for a $1.99 download.

I checked it out. $1.99 is not bad. I missed last weeks Office and wanted to watch it really bad – so my wife and I purchased it.

IT WAS AWFUL. Not the show-the video. iTunes releases it’s content in .mp4v format which is damn near impossible to play back on anything other than Quicktime. Maybe Quicktime is where it’s at in the Mac World, but on Windows it sucks ass.

I was SOO disappointed. Choppy – Choppy – Choppy. In contrast, I was able to stream The Office several weeks ago with a MUCH better viewing quality. Sure it wasn’t as high a resolution, but at least it was watchable.

So I give buying video off of iTunes a thumbs down. And I give NBC a thumbs down for making this content exclusive to iTunes, and abandoning the “Missed Episode” option.

-CF

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »