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March 09, 2007

Nickelodeon's winning user-generated content strategy

Turbonick by Josh Bernoff

Smart moves over at MTV Networks.

First they discussed a strategy to embrace lots of content sites based on user generated content at MTV. Need to hear more about this to understand it.

Now Broadcasting & Cable says that Nickelodeon (also part of MTV Networks) will add its second show based on user-generated content. Here's the relevant part:

Continuing to try and embrace the consumer-generated content trend, Nickelodeon has greenlighted iCarly, a scripted comedy that will integrate video submitted by its viewers.

The show, starring Drake & Josh's Miranda Cosgrove, will revolve around a a middle school girl who becomes a star after creating a Webcast in her basement. Carly will solicit viewer-created content in response to weekly assignments, and the best submissions will be integrated into the online show or on-air show, which is set for a September 2007 launch.

The iCarly announcement comes three weeks after Nick launched Me:TV, a two-hour, hosted weekday block that features submissions from Nick's broadband site TurboNick. The block's content has yielded about 50,000 online streams since it launched, Nick says.

This is just plain cool. Face it, every YouTuber's real dream is to be on TV. Nickelodeon is making that possible (and of course it has the demographic to match). It's one thing for a media company to create its own UGC site -- they are all doing or considering that and frankly, why bother? Why is your site better than YouTube? But if the site is focused around an audience and existing content, with the payoff that the best stuff gets on TV, then it's a real strategy.

For old media companies (specifically TV networks) wondering what to do about new media, pay attention -- this is one right way to do it.

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