NBC/News Corp. site faces challenges
by James McQuivey and Josh Bernoff
According to the LA Times, NBC and NewsCorp will create a shared destination site for their television and movie content. Sure, advertisers will get excited about the chance to sponsor the American Idol page on the site, so the motivation is obvious. But will it work?
It won’t challenge YouTube. YouTube is two parts social experience, one part video experience. That’s how it gets millions of viewers. But this site could draw traffic from NBC.com or Fox.com, as viewers learn to seek the show they like rather than the network that produces it. If other networks come on board it could become a significant online destination.
It won’t survive if: the interface isn’t fun to use, the content you want isn’t easy to find, or the ad model gets in the way of the show (have a look at abc.com’s newly released player which integrates ads and TV-quality streams in a sustainable way).
What does this mean? Likely, a delayed launch in order to get the social and interface features right. Just in time for the next season of American Idol.
More added by Josh: According to the Wall St. Journal, the venture has a distribution relationship with MSN, AOL, and Yahoo! We've already written about how Microsoft is lining itself up as the friend of copyright holders and the anti-Google. With this distribution the venture becomes much more powerful -- but how will it be rationalized with these companies' own very extensive video sites? This thing could take off like a rocket -- or it could expode on the launchpad, with too many partners trying to get their fingers in the design.