Variety covers the alleged attempt of the big nets to start their own YouTube. I spoke to the reporter and made additonal points:

The networks are foolishly trying to maintain the old-media model of getting everyone to come to them — rather than going to where the people are — and that will both cost them marketing dollars and cost them the marketing opportunity of reaching a new audience. They should be embracing this new world and figure out how to monetize it with advertising and as a free marketing vehicle: You want viewers to recommend your shows! You want new viewers to discover your shows! You want your shows to be cool and to be cool you must be in the conversation! And if you’re really, really cool, you’ll want the viewers to turn into producers making shows around your shows: witness both Star Trek and LonelyGirl15.

But I also had lunch with a smart media exec who shrugged at all this news about an attempt to start TheirTube: “If there is…” he said. In other words, it could just be a negotiating ploy vs. Google and YouTube.

  • Paul Vigna

    Jeff, just to play devil’s advocate here. Who’s to say the media companies are being foolish? Who’s to say they’re not going to where the people are? This project’s a long way from being anywhere near happening, and it just might be a bluff, but if they do it, put their stuff up on the web, make a site just as easy to use as YouTube, but still manage to keep YouTube from then throwing the stuff on their site, even if only for a matter of time, who’s to say it will fail?

    There’s this huge assumption “the kids” won’t buy it because it will be from some corporation, and corporation’s aren’t “cool.” But if there’s a great episode of The Office, or Battlestar Gallactica, or whatever, and the only place you can see it is on CorpTube (or whatever they call it), who’s to say the kids won’t go there. After all, broadcast television is free too, and ad-supported, and that model’s worked pretty well over the years.

    Big fan of the site; Merry Christmas

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  • Ian

    I have to agee with Paul. I’m surprised there is so much criticism before we even know the strategy. What if this is a strategy creating a unique brand in the marketplace? What if they launch the site and it doesn’t involve a walled garden strategy, as we might expect?

  • Putting together the technology necessary to build a YouTube-type site isn’t difficult. The hardest part is predicting the bandwidth that it’ll need and ensure that there’s scalability.

    Perhaps the upstarts recognise this and hope that their particularly version will be successful enough to be snapped up by those companies that eyed up YouTube but missed out to Google ?