NBC Leaves YouTube

By Rafe Telsch 2007-10-22 19:29:57
I don’t have tons of time to enjoy television. Even when I do, it’s typically only during normal prime-time hours. Late night shows are almost definitely out of the question due to my schedule. That hasn’t been a problem recently because the highlights of shows like The Tonight Show or Late Night with Conan O’Brian showed up on YouTube courtesy of NBC. That’s right – fully legal and everything. Unfortunately, that’s come to an end as NBC has removed its “channel” from YouTube’s webspace.

The decision to pull content from YouTube comes as part of NBC’s effort to create a rival service for iTunes, who the network had a falling out with over episode prices earlier this year. Instead of putting money into the pockets of Apple and Google (who owns YouTube), NBC is hoping to line their own pockets with a proprietary video service, expected to launch later this month, at least in a private test version.

Is NBC putting too much stock in their own service? They offered video clips for free on YouTube even when iTunes sold complete versions of the same episodes. I assumed the logic was that you could see a clip for free on YouTube and then decide to purchase the episode over on iTunes. Between the two monster services, NBC was getting wide exposure. Now pulling videos from both for their own service seems like a step in the wrong direction. No exposure, other than stories like this stating why the move has been done.

Perhaps that lack of exposure isn’t completely lost upon Universal NBC. Reuters has a spokesperson for the company stating that perhaps video clips like those from Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show could show up on other, non-NBC services in the future. Just not now… which makes perfect sense. Why promote NBC products when there’s no way to purchase the episodes.

I predict an increase in bootleg NBC clips appearing on line within the next week, leading to the next big NBC story involving lawsuits instead of their video service. Perhaps they shouldn’t have been so hasty.
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