News Corp. + NBC Universal YouTube competitor

By March 23, 2007 No Comments


You will doubtless have heard by now about the “YouTube competitor” News Corp. and NBC Universal are planning to launch.  You can find all the detail here – thanks to Fred for the link.

If it works then I think this will be a great thing.  Easy to access high quality content will accelerate the shift towards broadband TV – and that disruption will create opportunities for all of us.  I’m also guessing that the embedded player distribution strategy will work well with aggregators who can build businesses around this content and the long tail from the same site.  That could be great for the likes of TIOTI.

I put “YouTube competitor” in quotes in the opening paragraph, because they are only competing with one side of YouTube – and that is the side which Google denies is important – the professionally produced and copyrighted side.  So in many ways to be successful NewTube, or MeTooTube or whatever we call it doesn’t need to have all of the UGC features of YouTube, including the ability to embed players in blogs.  I see things a little differently to Fred here.

The million dollar question, of course, is whether they will build a decent service.  The initial reaction of many is “no way” – these old media guys just don’t get it in some fundamental way.  If history is any guide here that reaction is probably the right one.  The debacle that is Spiral Frog is still fresh in all our memories.

I find myself wanting to be hopeful though – largely because I believe if they are successful it will be great for VCs and entrepreneurs the world over, for the reasons I outlined above.

The building blocks are there for them to have a good chance of making it – they just need to smart enough and disciplined enough to find someone great to build the site and then just let them get on with it.  Politicking from founder partners trying to bend the site to their particular interest will likely have a disastrous effect.

Lots of things are sill unclear, but the two I am most curious about are how the ads will work and whether they will use P2P as the delivery protocol.