YouTube Jumps Into The Local News Business–What It Means For Broadcasters

Although their plight hasn’t gotten as much attention as that of local newspapers, local broadcasters have also been hurting lately as small department-store chains and auto dealers have gone out of business and taken their ad dollars with them. Now, they’re getting hit from another side: YouTube’s News Near You, which grabs video clips from sources within 100 miles of your computer’s IP address. YouTube promises to share revenues with TV outlets, but as the New York Times points out, it’s a double-edged sword for local broadcasters.

The News Near You function was introduced in May. In a bid to quickly build up the service, YouTube last month reached out to the Google (NSDQ: GOOG) News’ sources and asked them to become official video suppliers as well. YouTube also began striking deals that would give special placement to news providers like ABC News, Reuters and AP. So far, about 200 news outlets have signed on to YouTube’s local video-casting, the NYT says. The deals with news providers will help the site, which is still struggling to find is way to profitability, gain incremental ad revenue. But for local broadcasters, the best they can realistically hope for is a little promotion. Because YouTube has added so many outlets, the prospects of a meaningful return for any one of those broadcasters seem dim.

In other YouTube news … When Publicis media agency Starcom MediaVest Group formed an online video research project called “The Pool” with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), CBS Interactive (NYSE: CBS) and back in January, it seemed odd that YouTube wasn’t included.

After all, Publicis and Google have developed strong ties over the years. Whatever prevented the video site and Publicis from joining the advertising/broadband study, which is run by the agency’s VivaKi digital hub, have apparently been resolved, Mediaweek reports. YouTube will participate in The Pool’s “lane two,” a section devoted to figuring out the best formats for ads and short video. MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA), though, has balked, and there’s no expectation of the Viacom company getting into The Pool before the summer’s out.