Blog Post

NBCU-YouTube Hook Up En Route; Videos, Ads

You just can’t make this stuff up … According to WSJ, NBC Universal is working on a deal with YouTube that includes posting video that looks illicit so it keeps that kind of pirate cachet. (Don’t know if it will be grainy on purpose, too.) It’s part of NBCU’s pushmi-pullyu relationship with viral video; the most vivid example is SNL’s “Lazy Sunday,” which got its start as user-posted viral video and was taken down from YouTube, and other sites after NBCU protested. Viral video proponents contend it was a boon for SNL and NBC; the network says it raised more attention for the sites than the show. NBC CMO John Miller told the WSJ: “These viral sites are interesting to us in instances before a show becomes an asset and we are trying to expose it to people. … Once something becomes a hit it’s a different story. Our interest here is generating revenue for ourselves.”
The deal calls for NBC to buy ads on YouTube while the video site posts NBC-supplied clips of upcoming shows.
— The notion doesn’t appeal to everyone; for instance, the lack of control is keeping ABC away for now.
— Google is in talks with major studios and networks. (What the story doesn’t mention is that some of the concern over dealing with Google stems from the way the company at one point posted video without permission.