In an attempt to put the players in the fight over the future of the online video that any internut can understand, I’ve literally drawn up an analogy pitting the many tentacles of giant squid-like media conglomerates against the more evolved, mammalian intelligence of the beastly whale that is Google and its adopted offspring, YouTube.
Of course, no overly simplistic and sensational analogy would be complete without a visual aid.
Yes, those saucer-eyed cephalopods each represent dominant corporate megalopolies: AOL Time Warner, News Corp, NBC Universal, Walt Disney Co. and Viacom. While normally they fight amongst themselves (though occasionally mate), an intruder has entered their dark, mysterious playground from whence synergistic promotional campaigns and public communications policy bubble up. It is a cold, ruthless place indeed.
The monstrous whale has descended in search of new revenue to feast on, and brought with it an heir being raised to challenge the slimy reign of the invertibrates, provoking their fear reflex. The squid’s sharp beaks gnash furiously in the hopes of forcing the whale back to the contextual text ad surface, but Google has a lungful of cash and is expanding its pod.
Will the beasts learn to live in peace? And what of the little creatures, all the brine shrimp which only want to float aimlessly in a sea of nutritive content? While the ugly squid are certainly a menace, could the greater threat be a hungry whale with no competition?