People will watch, it's what they do

Regardless of what you think about mainstream media, the announcement that NBC and News Corp. are collaborating to bring a variety of television series and movies to a "YouTube-killing" media portal is going to change the way people think about their programming choices.

Regardless of what you think about mainstream media, the announcement that NBC and News Corp. are collaborating to bring a variety of television series and movies to a "YouTube-killing" media portal is going to change the way people think about their programming choices. The investment in talent and production quality represented by "Borat," "The Devil Wears Prada," "24" and all the other shows involved in this deal is formidable and will certainly attract viewers who otherwise would have been sitting in front of their TVs.

Google's YouTube will continue to thrive, but the reality is that "consumer-generated video" is only taking a place in a constellation of media choices. The rationale for the $1.6 billion paid by Google for YouTube last year presumed it would become the only major video portal, and that was a grotesque mistake comparable with Yahoo's acquisition of Broadcast.com.

There's not much more to say about this that I haven't said before. So, to summarize:

  • Google's hubris, which prevents it from sharing revenue on terms content people will accept, is becoming a liability.
  • Even if most of it is crap, studio-produced programming brings viewers, which attract ad revenue.
  • So, the studios will go with their own sites rather than working with Google.
  • Therefore, YouTube is marginalizing itself, becoming a "user-generated" ghetto instead of elevating (some of) its content onto the same playing field as previous media. 

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