NBC's Kliavkoff: We Love Free Web Video

NBC U chief digital officer George Kliavkoff has an idea on how his company can make money on Web video: It helps if the video itself is free.

NBC U is moving forward witih a plan to produce 10 “channels” stocked with low- and no-cost video, George told the Streaming Media East in New York. The idea: Advertisers love video, but can’t find enough pre-vetted, ad-friendly places to show it. NBC will solve that problems for them, and group the videos by theme to make it even easier to buy.

The first two channels: autos and health. Coming: travel, finance and retail sites.

“We are focusing on the top ad categories,” he said. “If you go down the list. It should be obvious where we are going to move.”

In autos, NBC U took a 35% stake in DriverTV, which produces advertorial video — paid-for by the automakers themselves. In health, NBC started collecting health-related video already being produced by local stations, NBC News and MSNBC, and is aggregating them on the Your Total Health channel on iVillage, and will offer them for syndication across the Web. He says NBC U produces 120 health-related videos a week–most got one shot on TV “and were then put on a shelf somewhere.” It’s the Web video mantra of 2008: Reduce, re-use, recycle.

Other bits from Kliavkoff:

On NBC Direct: Kliavkoff said he did not know when NBC’s video download service would come out of beta. He said the delays are mostly due to complications with the desktop application. “NBC Direct is a complicated thing to build and we are taking our time and putting a lot of effort behind it,” he said.

On CBS’s acquisition of CNET: “It’s great because it makes CBS a content and distribution partner for Hulu.” (CNET video is on the service, which is distributed through

On why Kliavkoff envies CBS’s Quincy Smith: “He works under different economic conditions than I do. I work for GE and could never have gotten that deal approved.”

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