Check out Ben McConnell's interesting post about MTV's upcoming online strategy. He cites an MSNBC article which explains how MTV & Comedy Central are seeking to win back "youngsters" from online sources like YouTube which have long given them the control they crave. According to the MSNBC article, "the network, which already has 150 Web sites in 162 countries, plans to build literally thousands more, hoping to draw viewers by letting them watch, contribute and even re-edit its television shows." The MSNBC article continues: "In the coming months, the company plans to open up more of its archives, allowing Internet users to take videos and post them on their own sites and also re-edit some clips."
Media watchers will notice a starting change in MTV's strategy: "In February, Viacom appeared to be making a move in the opposite direction when it ordered YouTube to pull down more than 100,000 clips of its popular shows that were uploaded by users without permission...The controversial move to protect online programming found supporters among other media companies including NBC Universal and News Corp., though CBS Corp. continues to sing the praises of the marketing impact of YouTube." I heartily agree with Ben's assessment: "The AP calls this a 'risky move.' Hardly. The risk is really maintaining the status quo of retaining control. MTV has never been able to find momentum online because it has always behaved like a broadcaster online. It controlled the viewing means. Design trumped usability. The community was just another message receptacle." Yet another triumph for citizen marketers. Bye bye YouTube? I suppose this is a possibility.