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NBC, Fox to Launch “OurTube” March 22, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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NBC-Universal and News Corp. will launch a joint venture for online video in cahoots with just about everybody but Google. First take:

I’m impressed by the fact the joint venture is engineered to be successful as a distributor, rather than only as a destination site. In fact, since — as far as I can tell — partners Yahoo, AOL, and MSN are not incented to drive traffic back to the new site, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the action ends up taking place on the partner sites.

The Newco will sell the ads on those partners’ sites, and there are at least a few mechanisms in place to avoid competition with NBC’s and Fox’s own salesforces. There’s a cap on how much of a NewCo “comedy” sale could actually run on The Office, for instance. Obviously, there will be competition in real life.

The Newco is only lightly embracing social media. This isn’t about consumer-created content. It is about allowing fans to “host” or link to their favorite shows from their MySpace or MSN Spaces page.

No idea or even hint of what Newco’s own programming strategy will look like. Presumably it’ll be slick and professional, but will it be better than Yahoo or AOL can do? NBC told Jupiter there would be some original programming (and, eventually, the ability to buy — but not this summer), but all this is TBD.

Also, NBC told us there will be opportunities for the partners to do exclusives or special release windows. And that Newco is talking to cable MSOs: both to recruit them as distributors, and to get access to their own shows.

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