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Veoh to Get Paid to Link to ABC

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Veoh has struck a deal to index TV shows from ABC and ESPN, making it only the second portal to get official entertainment content from the Disney-owned networks after AOL. However, the deal is sort of silly because ABC doesn’t actually allow embeds of its content, only links to launch its player (which requires downloading the Move Networks plug-in). And it’s not like anyone else can’t also link to ABC’s player; the difference is ABC will be paying for any traffic Veoh drives, according to the New York Times.

Despite an upcoming revamp, ABC’s outdated anti-embed policy for its TV shows doesn’t appear to be changing. See above a screenshot of how ABC content “appears” on Veoh, with a warning that “The player for this video will open in a new window.” It’s the same thing on AOL. According to a release emailed by Veoh, ABC will allow embeds on Veoh only of its short-form programming, and only once the player relaunch happens later this year. (ESPN content is somewhat more flexibly and easily embeddable.)

At this point finding TV content on the web is kind of like participating in a treasure hunt, with various networks hiding videos behind this door or around that bend. C’mon people, it’s not like we don’t know how to use Google or type in the URL bar!

Veoh has trumpeted the fact that it has Hulu content, which it gets by pulling in and embedding Hulu embeds. That reportedly drew the ire of FOX, and we’re not sure if things have been patched up. When Hulu recently started adding new partners, Veoh was not on the list. But Veoh continues to embed FOX and NBC content from Hulu.

Veoh does have official distribution deals with CBS, MTV, and the WB.

Matt Murphy, senior vice president for digital media distribution at Disney and ESPN Media Networks, told the New York Times the company was considering distribution on Hulu and YouTube in the context of regular re-evaluation of its digital business. Which makes a lot of sense — they should just do it already.

Veoh, meanwhile, just raised $30 million, adding to its long list of big-name backers and bringing total funding to $69.5 million, but it also made a lot of its users hopping mad by cutting off access to its site from hundreds of smaller international markets.

15 Responses to “Veoh to Get Paid to Link to ABC”

  1. If video sites should be destinations and not gateways, then ABC’s anti-embed policy wouldn’t be so archaic afterall right? Go to them to watch the content.

    I can understand the idea behind not allowing embeds – they want to reap the benefits of the video advertising PLUS the banner advertising on the page.

    But allowing your content to go elsewhere provides new distribution channels, which means more viewers than you have to active market to, but still make money from them because the advertising follows the content.

    If the pricing for the advertising for the video content proper, the videos themselves should be profitable WITHOUT banner advertising and therefore the new views should more than make up for the lack of banner ad revenues.

    I would love to see NT do some research on the pros and cons of embedding from a financial standpoint.

  2. Bad move on Veoh’s part….why would you want to drive people away from your UX? Is ABC’s content that valuable? Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come for Veoh.

    Video sites need to be destinations – not gateways.