Magic in Manhattan
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Forget the consumer?

What is going on in some marketer's heads right now? It seems like the consumer is the last thing running through their minds as people move to protect and segregate content away from the masses. I've posted about the Viacom/YouTube lawsuit and potential impact to each site, but in the end the consumer loses and that's unfortunate.

video_together.pngHere is what the video landscape looked like just a few months ago. Youtube was the quick starting, innovative new contender on the scene. Users flocked in record numbers and showed marketers that the days of users being limited by technology to create content are over. From a user perspective, YouTube was ideal, a one-stop shop. It combined user-generated content with normal broadcast video content published by consumers. Music artists took to the medium and published pre-releases to their videos. Consumers showed their love of some brands by creating their own mashups and sharing them with friends. Agency.com used the site to publish a forced "viral" campaign that got many people in the industry interested in the possibilities.

video_separated.pngBut, this was short-lived. Here is a representation of what it looks like today. Users have to criss-cross the net to find what they want. The interactivity and commenting is not as powerful, the numbers of people watching each is drastically lower than that of YouTube and there may even be a little self-censorship going on every now and then as properties protect their sponsors and investors.

Here is a quick overview of the video content space from my viewpoint. It shows where each entity is heading with their recent moves. Customers want control, they want Tivo not regular TV. They want all of the content in one place, on-demand and they want quality on top of all of that.

video_controlvcontent.png

The anti-consumer actions being taken in this space seems natural in the context of the internet. Think Napster vs. RIAA. How many more artists were people exposed to in that time period than ever see the light of day today. Again, Napster had the content in one place, the user had control and the companies broke it up. I wonder if the power of the citizen media can help out this time. Do you think these companies care about consumers or is it just the short-term dollar?

Loyalty breeds long-term profit. The more long-term they think the better off they'd be or somebody is going to beat them to the next new thing. But, I guess they'll just keep litigating and not innovating.

UPDATE: Check out Paul McEnany's post on the NBC/News Co. venture (dubbed "ClownCo" by Google) as well as Michael Arrington's post here. Make sure to read the last segment on Arrington's post, it's extremely telling of NBC's arrogance.

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