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Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Embedding video: why isn't it obvious to the MSM?

I blogged a few days ago about the BBC's new use of Flash video across the news website — my main question was to ask just why they won't allow embedding by others of their content. Or rather, why they will allow it when that content is nicked, republished on YouTube etc. (they aren't policing this with take-down notices) but won't enable it.

As I commented, this makes even less sense when much of that content - yes, news content - would be of interest to exactly the audiences they are desperate to appeal to. Start with teenagers embedding news about climate change on Bebo/MySpace and think on. It's hard to see where the negatives are but presumably they think there are some.

Of course, I tried to comment but actually gave up after re-hitting the button periodically over about eight hours.

So I just don't know but my, I think fair, assumption is we're talking slow-moving, dinosaur like corporations and behomoths who just don't get it - where media consumption is moving to and why they're losing out. The success of video online shows that the web can actually increase your viewership/revenues if you stop trying to fight and control and start responding quicker.

This is an across the 'MSM' (mainstream media) thing and speaks to why they're being so quickly outgunned/flanked on the web, because I just tried to promote an ITV drama and found I couldn't. Free marketing and they don't want it.

I love Jake Arnott's books and they have dramaticised his fourth, 'He Kills Coppers'. Radio Four gave an ITV drama a four star review. But I am so pissed off that I can't embed a preview here that I'm not going to link — and the ITV page for it isn't top in Google results, you'll have to look. And the link must be what they want: all hail traffic to their website. Why? You can get your revenue via ads in the embed!

This is absolutely terrible marketing and completely inexplicable: because I've yet to hear an explanation.

Michael Grade presumably thinks me promoting one of their dramas is about 'not handing control to a third party' (i.e me). He should try talking to Comedy Central instead of the bitter people running the music industry.

It's part of Viacom, run by Barry Diller and they say:
"We definitely feel that [allowing embedding of] video on the Web is a huge tool. It drives word-of-mouth discussion about a show."
NB: I haven't mentioned ITV's use of Silverlight, rather than FlashVideo. That's a deal whose stupidity and short-sightedness should be blindingly obvious.

At present we do not have any plans to make our programmes available for embedding/downloading due to rights issues.

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