Posted by: Jon Fine on March 22, 2007
Oh, the ways we can peel today’s news apart. For starters, I was convinced when I wrote this a few months back that none of this could even get this far, so kudos to all involved. (Boy, those negotiations must have been nuts.)
Of course, we haven’t exactly seen anything yet.
As for the ways to peel this apart: Remember that News Corp has MySpace, which has video ambitions of its own. Also remember that much of the news needs to be viewed within the lens of negotiating with Google. (It is remarkable how much in media right now needs to be viewed within the lens of negotiating with Google.) As UBS analyst Aryeh Bourkoff puts it, “there are two ways to express dissatisfaction with YouTube. One is to litigate. The other way is to create competitors.”
A competitor that is able to bundle big advertisers in before there’s even a Web site in place, that is.
I remain dubious that YouTube can be displaced, but things keep getting more interesting. I wonder if the NBC/News Corp/Yahoo/AOL/Microsoft play could get even broader, and end up looking something a free, less-walled-off version of this?
FYI: YouTube had 34 million unique visitors in February.
UPDATE: Peter Chernin on 3 PM conference call: “Ultimately we believe this is just the beginning. We hope to be the biggest video destination on the Web. We’re in discussions wth other content owners. We certainly welcome any [other content partners seeking an online video site] where they will be treated fairly and where their content will be protected.”
More from the conference call:
They don’t have a name for this yet.
Chernin: “On launch, this will be the largest advertising platform on earth.”
Chernin: “NBC and Fox are committed to making our content exclusive to this venture.”
In other words: YouTube only can play ball with these nets’ programming now if they agree to NewTube’s terms.
Two new advertisers signed on this morning after the announcement was made. Only one is willing to be named: Royal Caribbean.
Lastly, Chernin says: “there will be user generated content [on the site], but the focus here is on the premium content. We think that is the value proposition here.”