Friday, March 23, 2007

The NBC/News Corp deal and why they don't call bloggers to conferences

This writeup on the online video deal between NBC and News Corp. is in two parts.

Part 1: the real impact points

After a long time, I got to read good analysis on Techcrunch.

A summary of the real points behind the deal between News Corp and NBC over online videos:

The two key messages Chernin and Zucker were selling were (1) a focus on respecting copyright, and (2) the fact that they were creating what they called “the largest advertising platform on earth.” That may be good messaging to stockholders, but it isn’t what the public cares about.

… a better approach would have been to focus on the user experience,

… blindness to the reality of this Bittorent and YouTube world.

The challenges for the parties:
(Via Techcrunch)
1. Only two networks joined is a really bad sign.
2. None of the two parties have useful experience in creating web applications that users will love, like YouTube,

3. So far, big media companies have not been successful in developing a user-love worthy online media product.
As Valleywag says, ‘EMI, BMG, and Sony Music banded together in 1999 to deal with the Napster situation and created Musicnet, which was a dismal failure and was named by PC World as one of the worst tech products of all time.’

Paidcontent has the details about the ‘NewCo’ deal.

The Paidcontent story agrees with Valleywag and Techcrunch and says that ‘NBCU-News Corp is More Like The Anti-YouTube Than YouTube Killer’.

Also mentioned in the Paid Content story:
A Google exec had called the proposed company “ClownCo.”—a play on the “NewCo” nickname.

My take:
The MSM CEOs are happy with the spreadsheet analysis that says that paid video is the thing of the future.

They seem to have forgotten two other threats:
On demand content will boost IPTV. As the panelists discuss in Guardian Changing Media Meet :
(using IPTV) People will be able to buy content at a discreet prices like premiership football, children programming and niche programming (such as) Sports, premium movies and adult content.

2. Joost:
The user-friendly streaming P2P platform for television from the founders of Kazaa and Skype.

Part 2: Like most entities of the 'establishment', MSM’s new media & technology coverage sucks (& what to do about it)

You will agree when I say that the MSM media coverage of the NBC + News Corp story focuses on the inane details about the deal – who puts in what and so on.

There is a serious mismatch between knowledge levels of people who read web 2.0 blogs and people who read technology & media business stories in the papers and on television.

Where is the impact coverage in MSM properties?

Michael Arrington also touches upon some points that have been on my mind as well for quite some time now.

The arrogance of the two big media CEOs.

- The ‘probable subservience’ of MainStream Media journalists – e.g. MSNBC reporter starting with “Hi Boss”, when addressing NBC chief.

- The big media CEOs still don’t now what Web 2.0 is and how it impacts media.
It is akin to Michael Eisner having no idea what Steve Jobs did (Jobs also founded Digital Animation film maker Pixar).

- The mainstream media’s coverage of emerging media technologies sucks.
The best they can do is be like Time – wait for as long as you can and then come up with a great linkbait idea of calling 2006 the year of ‘You’. Cute.

The mainstream media overage often throws up a serious lack of understanding and numbing levels of putting out PR puff pieces on latest media and technology news and trends.

- When Google bought out Youtube last year, Techcrunch got the scoop. I noticed while researching for my roundup stories about the deal that there were no Web 2.0 bloggers at the analyst conference call except, perhaps Michael Arrington.

- Top web 2.0 bloggers should be on first call list on all the big media and software conferences and analyst meets. Mind you, merely copying Microsoft and calling up only fawning and gawking bloggers doesn’t cut it.

Some of your favorite Web 2.0 bloggers:
Michael Arrington (, Richard Macnamaus (, Pete Cashmore (, Jeff Jarvis (, Om Malik ( and anyone from

In fact, all the contributing writers in these above blogs are good writers and analysts.

Update: I was tempted to mention Steve Rubel. He is a good writer but he is a PR blogger and that may be dicey for many.
Check his incessant twitter about twitter. I don't know whether he does PR for Twitter (does it need PR?) or whether he backs certain things just for the fun of it.


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