Following through on plans announced in September, Viacom’s Daily Show site will now feature 13,000 clips of every minute in the Daily Show’s history (via the LA Times, VIAB). This is a good idea. Unfortunately, a better idea would be to settle the YouTube lawsuit, cut a deal with Google, and upload all those clips to YouTube instead.
Because however many die-hard Daily Show fans make the trek over to the Viacom site, a multiple of that number would watch the clips if they were featured every day on the front page of YouTube. Viacom would get a healthy cut of not only ads embedded in the clips, but also ads on a dedicated YouTube Daily Show channel. Viacom wouldn’t have to mess around with maintaining and paying for a download site (which YouTube will be able to do far more cheaply because of its greater scale). Viacom could just focus on doing what it does best: creating excellent content…and cashing in on it.
As Peter Kafka suggested earlier this week, Viacom appears to be getting its head around the idea of settling the Google lawsuit. Viacom shareholders should hope that it does this sooner rather than later. Every day that Viacom lets go by without having its clips on YouTube is a day that it could have gained additional online mindshare, made fans happier, advertised the Daily Show, et al, and generated some incremental (profitable) revenue–all without wasting time and money duplicating what YouTube already has.
Follow-Up: Viacom: We Can’t Wait To Settle Google Suit