Friday, March 23, 2007

"NewTube" -- News Corp's & NBC Universal's Challenge to YouTube

Just returned from VON -- Jeff Pulver's extremely well organized, well attended, and overall highly successful event in San Jose. One of the perils of being on the road is not having the time to scour my typical newspapers, which include The Los Angeles Times. So, while I heard about the new online video venture to be launched by News Corp. and NBC Universal, I just had the opportunity to read the details this morning. And, what details they are!

Of course, I am referring to "NewTube" -- big media's attempt to rival, if not outwit, YouTube by taking control of its crown jewels (its television content) and distributing it via its own new site and via approved major online media distribution partners (including MSN, AOL, and Yahoo! -- and, of course, News Corp's very own MySpace). The point with NewTube is that consumers will be able to access the relevant content across multiple sites that together control the lion's share of consumer eyeballs -- and, the other point is that, unless Google enters into a deal with NewTube itself, Google will not have access to that content.

Will this be enough to trip up YouTube? Well, certainly content "matters." But, there are lots of different types of video content, and television content is only one of them (an important one to be sure). "Personal video" (a la www.vlip.com) and other user generated video also matters.

And, another and key element necessary to shake up the current status quo is to add further differentiation to the online video and social networking experience and bring it to the next level. The most obvious way to do that is via video interaction (getting users to interact directly with the content, those behind the content, and with each other, so that they spread the gospel of that content -- and the overall experience -- to others as well ... )

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