Friday, March 23, 2007

NBC and News Corp's Vaporware

By now you've already heard about NBC and News Corp's venture to take on YouTube. The conference call really goes into the details. Not! In summary, they stressed copyright protection with help from their distribution partners (probably a majority of that being MySpace), some paid, but mostly free content, and being the world's largest advertising platform. Doesn't say much does it? Does this product even exist?

On the surface, this new company appears incredible. Copy protection for content creators and a great revenue split (90-10), and a way for distribution platforms to share in getting this content to the consumer. Further from all reports on the advertiser front, something their sales team is saying is making the ads fly off the shelf. But in all of this, the most important piece of the puzzle is being ignored. THE USER. The user is what made YouTube become YouTube. The user has made MySpace the #1 social network in the world. The user was the Person of the Year! And all this talk about advertising? Yesterday I talked about Burger King and how successful it was because the advertising was integrated with the game and in previous posts I'd written about the whole product placement phenomenon. When is big media going to realize that instead of being able to see The Office a few hours after Hawaii gets to see it on my computer screen with commercials, I'd rather TV it, or worse yet, watch the pirated YouTube version with no commercials? Love it or hate it, we have to face the facts. If the user experience is horrible, there will be no more users. Just ask Friendster.

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