How Many Video Sharing Sites Do We Need?

from the the-number-keeps-growing-and-growing-and-growing dept

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 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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  1. icon
    ConceptJunkie (profile), 31 Jul 2006 @ 6:18am

    Some people are missing the point...

    The point of the article is not that competition is bad, it's that there are numerous companies trying the same (apparently) bad idea. YouTube is another in a long line of services that is very useful for the average Joe, but doesn't actually have a means to build a business around it. In fact, this a huge problem for a lot of the "Web 2.0". There are some tremendous innovations going on, but because of many factors, including what the Web has normally been like in the last 15 years, it isn't exactly obvious how many of these businesses can actually be, you know, businesses.

    I think selling advertising as a business model is becoming more and more obsolete... look at the death throes it's going through for broadcast TV, where it's convenient to bypass advertising entirely, not to mention the same thing on the Web... I for one have almost forgotten the epilepsy-inducing nature of the typical Web ads since switching to superior browsing technology years ago. Eventually, these businesses are going to have to figure out a way to actually sell a product or server... at the end of the day, YouTube isn't really mnuch different from the original Napster, except for the fact that it probably has a somewhat lower proportion of copyright-violating material.

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