Space Ramblings

Veoh Gets a Disney Sized Embrace

It pays to be one of the last video sharing sites left standing as Veoh has found out, now that Disney will be distributing content through it. Veoh has always been considered an also-ran in the video sharing boom sweepstakes, but with the termination of Stage6 and the colonization of YouTube, Veoh meets the big mouse as Disney will be distributing Lost, Desperate Housewives and other ABC shows through it.

Is it a serious strategy or another experiment? ABC was the first network to get really serious about online syndicated and there’s no doubt that its highly quality broadcasts and HD library of shows is a winner. By now of course NBC and CBS have jumped into the game and NBC and FOX have unveiled Hulu, which is turning into a major destination of choice. Veoh’s Chief who criticized Hulu for its closed system, instead gets ABC which has rebuffed Hulu.

So who’s smarter? NBC and FOX have created a destination site for airing their products in Hulu. ABC is opening the door to actually airing full episodes on a video sharing site, a taboo that no network has broken until now. Of course Hulu itself had syndicated its own content via online sites, and now that CBS has followed suit and is making its own content available via Veoh including CSI Miami, Veoh has suddenly become the number two to YouTube’s Ichiban.

How did Veoh do it? Survival skills probably played a part. While too many competitors dropped out or became sleazified, Veoh remained the alternative to YouTube and while Veoh is still a distant second to YouTube, its management was clearly far more willing to negotiate than YouTube’s was and had less leverage in the game. What that means for Veoh is more traffic as it becomes a Hulu alternative. That should worry YouTube which has become a sort of video oriented MySpace noted for a breezy interface but overflowing with junk. If Veoh can bring together the best of both worlds, paid and amateur content, it can provide a credible alternative to YouTube.

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