OK, everybody into the online video pool.
NBC and News Corp. announced plans Thursday to launch a new Web site for video content that would feature both professional and user-created material. The companies have already signed deals with advertisers and distributors including Yahoo, Microsoft, MySpace and AOL--in short, just about everyone who competes in some way with Google.
No one had any doubts that the new project is designed to take on Google and its YouTube site. But how successful will the major media firms be?
Bloggers came down on both sides of the debate, but pointed out that there are few details about the new project so far (including, for instance, a name for it), and that previous collaborative projects have not been successful.
Blog community response:
"Today was just a placeholder announcement for this yet-to-be-named company, and more details will certainly emerge soon that could show this in a new light. But for now, Google/Youtube, who have been referring to the project as Clown Co. privately, doesn't look to be in any trouble. Without a name, a lot of the press today was wasted. My recommendation to interim head George Kliavkoff: name this thing fast, before "Clown Co." becomes more than just an inside joke at Google."
"When there's an overabundance of content and not enough consumer attention to go around, the value creation opportunity is in connecting consumers with content--it's in aggregation, distribution, and filtering. Google gets it. The big media companies get it. So when I say the content business is dying, I don't mean you can't make money off of content creation anymore. I just mean you can't make a lot of money."
"My friend Paul Kedrosky thinks that NewTube could be successful enough that it and YouTube could co-exist for some time. But like Stan Schroeder at Frantic Industries, I'm willing to bet that NBC and News Corp. will find some way--or, more likely, dozens of ways--to screw this up royally."