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Is there anything new about Next New Networks?

Another YouTube killer. Yawn or no yawn?

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
2 min read
Next New Networks

Meet the latest contender to plunge into the deep end of the YouTube-killer pool. Say it five times fast: Next New Networks. The bloggers are all talking about this recently-announced Web video endeavor today, and most of them are pretty cynical--especially since Next New Networks is not the brainchild of some ambitious entrepreneurs, but rather a bevy of big-media veterans, led by former Nickelodeon president and MTV Networks vice chairman Herb Scannell. After all, when the broadcast TV networks announced a plan to team up, Captain Planet-style, on a YouTube rival, bloggers were skeptical. (They're more optimistic about shadowy anti-YouTubes when they're started by successful Web personalities, like the Skype founders' Venice Project.)

Web 2.0 and venture blogs seem to be in agreement on this one, rolling their eyes at the prospect of yet another video site clogging the Web. Om Malik of GigaOM, classified Next New as "a bunch of old media guys, getting into this new video game, cash[ing] in on the user-generated buzz that comes with a $1.65 billion buyout." And, indeed, it might just be too late to jump into the game as a new video-sharing site, even with the $8 million in funding that Next New has obtained from Spark Capital.

But on the other hand, we've said it before here that a Web video site needs an innovative feature or business model in order to survive in this saturated market, and Next New Networks just might have that. Yesterday, I wrote about CozmoTV, a video search site that addresses the fact that trying to find stuff you like on YouTube can be a huge mess. And Next New does look like it's trying to tackle that same problem: instead of trying to start one massive video site, it plans to divide its user-generated content among separate niche video sites, each one supported by ads. Like CozmoTV's "channel" feature, this could appeal to users who want a quick and easy route to the videos they want to see. And if something like this is successful, it'll be a strong indicator that so-called "old media" companies really do have what it takes to make it in a YouTubed world.

Besides, we should never underestimate anything that's ever had anything to do with Nickelodeon. Any TV network that can turn a cartoon about a talking sponge into a wild mainstream success must have some good brains at its helm.

(Via Paid Content.)