The emergence of YouTube has become a threat to a lot of media companies. Reputable media companies such as News Corp, NBC Universal and Viacom Inc have started their fight-back war to gain back their viewers! A media fight is commencing.
News Corp and NBC Universal will collaborate with three of Google’s largest rivals – Yahoo Inc, Microsoft Corp and Time Warner Inc’s AOL to launch a free online video site. This free site will feature full-length movies and TV shows via Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL. Viewers and consumers can enjoy free movies and TV shows such as “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Borat”, “The Simpsons”, etc.
On the other hand, MTV Network, a unit of Viacom Inc that has 150 websites in 162 countries, plans to build literally thousands more, hoping to draw viewers by letting them watch, contribute and even re-edit its TV shows. It aims to build websites related to every personality and aspect of its shows, hoping to catch consumers wherever they happen to be on the internet or on the mobile phone. Viacom Inc is also suing Google for US$1billion over unauthorized use of its videos on YouTube.
The internet video market is a key to the future of media and will be vast enough to accommodate competition. Even though YouTube is relatively young compared to News Corp, NBC Universal and Viacom, one important area where YouTube is clearly ahead with consumers is in the uploading of home made videos – a function that has made the site so popular especially with the younger audience. Being a YouTube supporter, we believe YouTube will continue to gain popularity. Regardless of whether the media companies succeed in controlling or reigning in YouTube, the party which stands to gain from this media battle is the consumer.