Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Same As It Ever Was

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

There has been much talk about YouToogle and possible replacements for the titan of web video. No one is happy with the picture quality of Das Tube – other than R Kelly who enjoys the graininess because it allows Kells to claim that ain’t him sexing the underage girls on the home video.

There will someday (and soon) be a new and improved YouTube. Maybe Google will upgrade their new purchase to HD or maybe some other new site will come in and have better tech that pushes out Das Tube. It will happen, but the details don’t matter. Not to me and not to the regular people who have made YouTube the hit it is.

I posted that in December of 2006. That is three years ago (checks math). Yes, three years ago. Nothing has changed except that the R Kelly joke is stale and the name of ‘possible replacement’ music video site has changed.

In 2006 I was commenting on the hype around a site called Zudeo which was going to change the face of music on the interwebs. Zudeo is currently down for maintenance so we can’t be sure if it has accomplished its mission of global domination.

The reason this has re-entered my egg nog and everclear infused brain is because in December 2009 we have a new and improved video savior – Vevo. This new site was started by Universal Music Group and has most of the significant labels on board, other than Warners. Saint Bono has called Vevo “the birth of a new model for our industry,” probably while UMG executives gave him the ‘thumbs up’ from the side of the stage. They even got some of that Ay-Rabb money to help launch the latest game changer.

The problem is that Vevo seems to be the exact same thing as the last UMG ‘solution’ – PluggedIn. If you don’t remember PluggedIn – don’t feel bad, I didn’t either.

Vevo has now launched and they have some exclusive content (for how long?) and the videos do look sharp and the lay-out is nice. Is this enough of a ‘plus’ for web users to stop searching and watching on the YouTube/Google axis? Google searches also turn up clips on daily motion, vimeo, vodpod and others - something that is an Achilles heel for Vevo, since their catalog is relatively limited. In 2010, are users interested in (willing to?) searching more than once?

When I was poking fun of Zudeo three years ago, the issue I harped on was compatibility. The question back then was would all videos play on all browsers, and what if you had a Mac or a Windows machine? Those nuts and bolts tech issues are largely gone (Thanks, You Tube) but Vevo, with all it’s high-def-iness, still seems like a solution to a problem from half a decade ago. Why does anyone (not employed at Universal) need another music video site?

It seems that the label/artists are going to get a slightly higher ad rate for the videos seen on Vevo versus the same clips watched on YouTube. More ad revenue is great, but how will people find these videos if they don’t pop up in the major search engines? What will make music fans go to Vevo rather than (the very similar) or YouTube?

Maybe I am missing something, but this sure seems the same as it ever was.

The video above was found with three clicks via Google and it plays on dailymotion.

Read the 30frames post from December 2006 right here.

And VideoStatic has a different (and more thoughtful) perspective here.

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