Could Viacom (VIA) build another Hulu — a self-contained video aggregator stocked with all of its own content? Yes. Will it? Maybe.
To date, Viacom’s Web strategy has involved 1) suing Google/YouTube and 2) building hundreds of mini-sites, each focused on a particular show or network.
Now we hear that some Viacom insiders are pushing the company to build its own site. The rationale: They’re frustrated by the fact that while the company has valuable Web content, it doesn’t seem to be a player in the larger video sweepstakes. This means if Viacom does want to get its video distributed beyond its own sites, it has to give up ad revenue or make other concessions. But while Hulu has just a tiny share of YouTube’s traffic, and may ultimately have dubious economics, it’s now considered a success by big media standards: The site didn’t exist at the beginning of the year, and now it’s in the Top 10.
So what would a new Viacom site look like? And would it be built as a part of Viacom, or would it be constructed as a new company, a la Hulu? Too early to say, we’re told.
Maybe way too early. MTV spokesman Mark Jafar tells us no such site is under consideration. “Our strategy is about highly-targeted verticals; it’s also about focusing on our own sites,” he said. “The portal strategy is counter to how people are watching video on the Web.”
Viacom’s a big company: Big enough that one part could be headed in one direction while the other doesn’t know about it? Or our sources just pipe-dreaming? We’ll let you know if we hear more.
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