I write a post about the dilemma faced by Comedy Central and Viacom executives on Thursday of last week (and what they should do about their clips up on YouTube now that’s it’s been bought by Google) and then I read over the weekend YouTube is taking down Comedy Central clips on their site. I assume it’s all due to the power of this blog…
As I wrote in the last post, the game has changed now that Google has bought YouTube, and folks at places like ComedyCentral are ensuring their future impotence if they allow GooTube to become the place to find all video on the Internet (again, Google bought YouTube because it is the current defacto place to search for video). As much as they’ll be portrayed as villains or idiots (or both) for forcing YouTube to take down their clips, this is clearly the right strategic move.
But getting their stuff off YouTube isn’t sufficient. What they now need to do, quickly and urgently, is get those clips up on the Comedy Central site. Allow their users to post the clips there. Allow them to embed them into their blogs, MySpace pages, and so on. Give them a better service with higher quality than they got on YouTube. In essence, match the stick (pulling down clips on YouTube) with the carrot (getting the videos up on Comedy Central). Comedy Central should send a message to as many of the folks who posted the videos on YouTube, and invite them to upload the videos to ComedyCentrals video sharing platform (if they haven’t built it yet, they had better do so soon).
If Comedy Central doesn’t do this, doesn’t give their audience what they want on a site they own and control, then they’ll just be playing a game of whack-a-mole. The clips will come down YouTube, but they’ll show up somewhere else, and we’ll all migrate to that new place to get our time-and-place-shifted Comedy Central fix.