Nothing too groundbreaking in the news today of The Guild Season 3 premiering on MSN’s Parallel Universe after last week’s roll out just for XBox owners. That is, except for the fact that MSN is now allowing embedding of The Guild episodes after being notoriously closed off last season and forcing viewers to head to the cluttered video.msn.com site.
This is a savvy move for MSN, and a necessary response to the significant amount of attention that Season 2 received once it was released on embed-friendly YouTube earlier this year. Fans of the web series are known to share and post videos on blogs and social networking sites all over the world. And let’s face it, web series need to free to live where people are out discussing and congregating around them.
There’s nothing wrong with exclusive windowing of content, especially when the distributor (Microsoft in this case) pays for it. But with video players now advanced enough to allow pre-roll, overlays and other ad types to go along for the ride, it doesn’t really make sense from a sponsor point of view (Sprint in this case) to be walled up.
It will be interesting to see the difference in total views on MSN this time around. Of course we’ll have to account for the unrelated spike in the web show’s popularity after its viral breakout “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar” music video, starring creator Felicia Day, and the addition of notables Wil Wheaton and Mike Rose (The Legend of Neil) to the cast.
And finally, in case you were wondering, “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar” now has over 3.2 million views on YouTube.