Recently Launched by de-construct

We’ve been busy at work recently. In just the last two months, we’ve launched the following sites: – design lovelies – impossible is nothing – gooooooooal! – pole to pole, man powered – the eurostar’s moving to north london – london symphony orchestra

Needless to say, it took us slightly longer than two months to make them.

$1bn lawsuit against Gootube

I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone like Viacom brought litagation against GooTube for copyright infringment, but I have to say I’m not surprised they’ve waited until now. You choose, taking two guys in their twenties to court for £500m (and expecting to get anywhere near that), or taking an Internet giant, with deep enough pockets that they paid $1.65bn for the site itself, which do you think is likely to make Viacom more money?

Its fair to say that Viacom feel threatened by Google, who doesn’t? Television figures are decreasing, due to a wealth of other sources of on-demand services: download services, YouTube, Tivo, VOD such as Tiscali (nee Homechoice), and 4oD, and for many audiences sectors, other sources of entertainment such as gaming consoles. Having the small ‘interesting’ bits of last night’s “I’m a Celebrity Chef, singing in the jungle for tricks, get me out of the house”edited, uploaded and thrust in front of you by discerning viewers – rather than trawling through the hours and hours of late night telly for a 30 second amusement, is always going to be more relevant for a time pressured audience, but where Viacom are missing a trick as probably best summed up with the old saying “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”.

Google’s YouTube service is about small clips, selected by the greater internet populus, and for watching in bite size chunks, not about ripping off entire episodes of Lost, or House MD. No-one is going to sit at their monitor squinting at a 400px square grainy flash file for an hour of Jack Bauer running around LA. The content which is being posted is probably benefitting the original content producers – after watching a few 30 second clips of some new show, its possible that the user will be interested enough to watch the full program through usual channels. Viacom should embrace YouTube’s ability to quickly and cheaply get what are effectively trailers for their content out into the wild. If they’re proud of their programming, the content will be good enough that a user will go and watch the full thing – hey, its been working for porn cable channels for years ;)

The concern that users will be switching off their television sets, therefore the networks will lose advertising revenue is understandable, but the pressure should be on organisations like Viacom to produce quality content which users still want to watch on their telly. Partner with Google to shout about their great new content, don’t bite the hand which has the opportunity to actually bring new viewers to your channel.

Viacom.. psst, if its a good enough idea for the BBC and NBC…?