06:20 AM

CBS, Warner video deals: Not much there

In the aftermath of the YouTube deal, several minor developments shed a bit of light on the video shakedown.

The CBS/Yahoo deal is a yawn. It's a classic Yahoo deal with the top of the entertainment industry. It adds a feature to Yahoo News that might mean some eyeballs stick around a little longer but that's about it. From the TV side of things, Terry Heaton, a TV branding consultant, thinks its bad business for local news:

This is a precedent-setting deal and will likely spawn all kinds of others, but there's a real danger here that I call the "on-demand trap." While I agree that stations need to unbundle their content (hell, I'm the guy who first called it that), the reality is that this deal exposes these 16 markets to further encroachment by Yahoo (or any of the other portals) as THE local go-to media entity for those markets and assigns the CBS affiliates to a purely content-creation (read: expensive) role in the media value chain.

In other words - and this is not the first time the news industry has followed this path - they keep creating the editorial but they give the business model away to someone else.

<rant>That's fine with me. The days of sitting through inane banter to see what's happening in the world have long since passed. TV news exists for one and only purpose: to see footage of fires and other natural disasters. In all other matters it is vastly inferior to other forms.</rant> At some point, TV news will have to morph into something like a Web interface, where I can learn more - and get access to source materials - about certain stories and skip over others.

muvee is just a weird thing - software (that you buy!) that lets you mashup photos and movie clips into a video with a certain style. I mean, that might be nice to give a little polish to home videos that I don't have the time or skill to make well. The Warner deal lets people use Warner video content as raw material for their muvee movies. I'm not sure who exactly wants to do that - what people want is to be able to use songs as soundtracks.

Beyond that, reading about muvee suggests what's right about YouTube. Standard formats, freely sharable, no software to download (that was one of Google Video's problems, too), put anyone's videos on any webpage. If muvee is a self-contained world, where you can only share with other muvee users, the whole deal is a major snore.

Speaking of mashups, why not mashup these two newsbytes. What creators need is free access to TV news content that can be edited into parody or patriotism. Many people I think could apply the Jon Stewart treatment if they had access to the newsmaker video.