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Media Titans vs YouTube March 25, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News, Web Video, YouTube.

The latest tie-up between News Corp and NBC Universal to take on YouTube shows the risks executives will take to regain control over content as consumers and ad dollars migrate to the Web. With Google set to gobble up a third of online ad revenue this year, old media fear losing a new generation of viewers who are as likely to be found in front of computers as the TV.

In an attempt to control how their shows are watched online and hold on to ad dollars, media giants News Corp and NBC Universal are pooling resources to create an online video website to blunt the incursion of Google-owned YouTube into the entertainment business. Google executives’ disdain for the project is evident in their nickname for the consortium: Clown Co.

The new online video site launches mid-year. It will be stocked with full-length TV shows and movies, plus clips that users can modify and share with friends. The videos of premium content from at least a dozen networks and two major film studios come free, with ad support.

The site has cut deals with Google’s internet rivals AOL, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo – four of the Web’s biggest destinations. They will place videos in front of a collective audience of hundreds of millions. While two-year-old YouTube has a headstart for video online, rival start-ups like Joost are coming up fast.

This is a game changer for Internet video. We’ll have access to just about the entire US Internet audience at launch. And for the first time, consumers will get what they want – professionally produced video delivered on the sites where they live. Peter Chernin, President and COO, News Corp.

While Web video is the new big thing, how much demand is there is for TV shows and movies on computer screens. Will the main attraction be existing fare distributed online, or new sources of original content from incumbent pring media?


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