Blog Post

Viacom Circumvents YouTube, Making MTV Networks’ Video Available To All Others

It’s round two in Viacom’s war against YouTube, as the media conglomerate will make videos from all MTV-owned sites available for download to all internet users over the next few months, CNET reported. Over the coming months, individuals will be able to grab videos from nearly all MTV-owned sites and post them on their own blogs or websites, reducing the need to go to YouTube. Earlier this month, Viacom ordered 100,000 of its videos taken off YouTube, after negotiations between the two broke down. Now, Viacom, which in addition to MTV Networks, owns CBS and the Paramount movie studio, had been planning for this move for months, according to Reuters.
The move is part of a strategy to bring Viacom’s websites up to “Web 2.0” standards, Mika Salmi, MTV Networks president of global digital media, told Reuters. “Part of that is allowing people to take our content and embed it and make your own things out of it, whatever they want.” As we reported earlier, MTV is planning to cut some 250 jobs, in part so it can shift more resources to shoring up its digital offerings. Since December, Viacom’s Comedy Central website has been allowing viewers to embed its videos on their own sites. Other Viacom brands, such as acquisitions iFilm and AddictingGames, have offered this feature even longer. The idea, borrowed from sites like YouTube and MySpace, helps Viacom rely less on sites like YouTube by reaching viewers wherever they migrate, even if it is a friend’s blog page.
Not that YouTube, which made other news today by signing a deal with the Digital Music Group giving the Google-owned video site access to classic TV shows, has much to weep about. Terry Heaton (via MarketingVox) has created a chart based on Alexa data showing just how far has to go to catch up to YouTube in terms of traffic.
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