Friday, March 23, 2007

"Hollywood Tube" to challenge YouTube

Some of Google/YouTube's fiercest rivals are teaming up to form a website to challenge YouTube. From Business Week:
The online partners for the new business include Yahoo Inc., Time Warner Inc.'s AOL, Microsoft Corp.'s MSN, and News Corp.'s MySpace. The new network will also make shows available on its own Web site.

The impetus behind the venture is to provide an authorized, copyright-protected and ad-supported alternative to YouTube, which has turned into an enormously popular online destination, with some of its hits coming from user-uploaded shows from television.

TV executives say they see the promotional value of having short clips from their shows available on YouTube, but many also say they're frustrated that so much of their programming shows up in way that's unauthorized and doesn't result in any compensation back to them.

So far, the only major media companies in the new network are General Electric Co.'s NBC and News Corp., both of which also own major movie studios.
The online partners (MSN, Yahoo, MySpace) are all big names and it will be interesting to see if more media companies are added into the partnership. YouTube is the King of its industry now but maybe, just maybe, the new "Hollywood Tube" may finally dethrone the Google acquired site. From a business point of view, it would have been better if MSN, Yahoo, NBC and their partners thought of this earlier. To play catch-up with a business leader is always a tough proposition. Also, it's interesting to note that Microsoft, Yahoo and MySpace all have their own online video sites and to have them join together in this venture says a lot about YouTube's impressive dominance in this field.

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