Amidst announcements and rumblings about its shared, YouTube-killing video venture with NBC – tentatively named NewCo – NewsCorp also recently announced its intent to focus MySpaceTV on professionally produced content.
What’s going on here? The muscle of NewCo rests on the vast vaults of content owned by its parents, but it looks to me like this marriage might be doomed before its even consummated. How are NewsCorp and NBC expected to cooperate on a joint venture when they each have greater vested interests in their own web proprieties?
Either way, things are looking up for consumers. The principal advantage of IP distribution of TV is content that is open, accessible, and free-flowing. As long as NewsCorp and NBC recognize the value of distributing their content in a way that is easily shared and embedded, it makes no difference, from a consumers standpoint, where the content actually lives. Yes, it was convenient before Viacom ruined the party and you could find everything under the sun at YouTube, but for those who seek a one-stop shop, search and discovery technologies are making all content available in one place.
(Tangential comment: walled-garden download clients like Joost and VeohTV create cool user-experiences, but push against the grain of open-distribution. I say, distribute all video in browser-friendly platforms.)
What’s my take? I’m glad you asked. Instead of pushing all content into catch-all warehouses of dissimilar tastes, all major players should follow MTVs lead and create thousands of niche entertainment websites linked by sub-brands. Think thousands of sites like DotComedy or Very Funny Ads, each with a specific, independent theme, designed to appeal to narrow tastes and audiences.