Viacom Enters The Online Video Distribution Game

Posted: October 21, 2007 in Content, Digital Entertainment, Digital Video, Emerging Media, Marketing Links, The Marketing Industry, Trends
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In a move that seems somewhat of a not-so-well-thought-out knee jerk reaction to market conditions, Viacom announced that it will be posting 13,000 ad supported clips from the “Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, previously the most popular Viacom video content on YouTube (along with the “Colbert Report”). Jon Stewart & Steven Colbert have embraced the online video world and Google and is attempting to depose the two hosts in the $1 billion case brought against them by Viacom.

The reality is, that by the time the case is tried in court, the online video ecosystem would have changed. Last week major industry stakeholders in the online video world agreed on a set of standards that would ensure copyright owners protection and potential monetization of their content. Unfortunately absent in this consensus was Google/YouTube, who issued their own set of guidelines and approach earlier in the week. Viacom’s reaction to Google’s guidelines was that it was too little too late, and that they will continue to pursue the case for past copyright infractions.

So, why is this all so important you ask?

The online ad spending forecasts show the industry doubling over the next handful of years (from approx $22B in 2007 to approx $41B in 2010), much of that will be coming from online video and the large brand advertisers shifting more budgets from TV to the web. Infrastructure and stability are required to actualize these projections (hence the massive consolidation this year), and any lengthy dragged out process between the current largest holder of online video ad inventory and one of the largest copyright owners, can prevent the industry from quickly and efficiently developing standards and moving on. 


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