November 28, 2006
Youtube Pays Off for CBS
Not long ago it seemed as though networks and professional sports leagues were all trying to get their content off of Youtube, citing copyright infringement. Now, CBS is the latest large corporation to find success using Youtube as an advertising outlet.
Once you find CBS' channel (which is actually easier said than done as it doesn't appear immediately on the "channel" page and I had to actually snoop around for it), you might notice that it looks a lot like any well designed myspace page. The site, which is extremely well branded and laid out, features video clips from CBS' properties.
According to this earlier report, however, CBS will in fact take advantage of youtube's advanced content reporting system and will more than likely attempt to get any videos uploaded by general youtube users removed or transferred. This is because CBS shares advertising revenue with youtube whenever one of their videos is watched. Another option mentioned is transferring the clip to CBS' channel, which would preserve whatever the user captured as well as providing CBS with ad revenue. This is a much better idea than simply removing the video because while CBS does have clips of its most popular shows, nobody can really ever guess where viral videos are going to come from.
It seems to be a success - the clip below is one of youtube's top 25 most viewed, coming in with about 1.6 million viewers for the month.
The only question I have for CBS is why their content isn't more readily avaliable - maybe this is a youtube issue even moreso, but why is CBS' channel not listed on the "channels" page. It's not entirely a bad thing - by not playing favorites with CBS over any other user, you're promoting this sense of community, but at the same time, the CBS channel has some of the most content and still isn't really avaliable unless you're actually looking for it or viewing one of their videos.
November 27, 2006
A Useful Tool - Google News
I don't think there was ever any question that, for information searching, Google is one of the top sites on the internet. The sheer amount of pages they can crawl, the accuracy of their response, and the barren, quick-loading homepage really do help the user find information.
However, until this project, I had really not explored Google News to the fullest of its potential.
Google News is an aggregate of not only major newspapers, but technology sites around the internet. So, if, like me, you search for "youtube marketing," you might get a story from the Chicago Tribune, and you might also get a story from PC Magazine. It's that extra aspect that makes Google News so useful.
If you were to search Google itself for "youtube marketing," who knows what would come up and from where? If you were to search a database of print newspapers, you'd miss out on a lot of buzz from magazines or reputable tech websites. In a project such as this, where the information we're looking for is so deeply rooted in technology, sometimes print newspapers can be behind, or, even, reporting on stories that were previously reported on by bleeding-edge tech sites such as Engadget or CNet.com.
With Google News, you get the best of both worlds. Pretty much everything you're going to find there will provide you with some useful information - there isn't a lot of filler or fluff - and all the news is neatly aggrigated on the page, sometimes with a preview image.
For me, Google News has been far and away the most helpful tool that I've used to find information on marketing through social networking sites. It really shouldn't come as a surprise that Google can produce such a handy tool, but it is something that's not often used as people often times (me included) just use Google for what its front page provides - a simple yet almost too far reaching searchbox.
November 20, 2006
Search Tip: Live.com
With the release of Windows Vista just around the corner, and as someone that had a chance to get in the beta program, I was able to mess around with Internet Explorer 7 (a live update that somehow has still not found my XP install). There really isn't much to say about it - I'm sure it's better than IE 6, but I use Firefox, so the point is moot - but I was extremely interested in the default homepage that the browser directed me to -
As far as I know, Microsoft had a search engine similar to this in the past under the name MSN. I'm not entirely sure if it was more yahoo-esque (homepage and portal) or google-esque (minimalist search/advertising), but I do know that I never used it. With Live.com, it seems that Microsoft is taking a page out of google's book while adding a few interesting things of its own.
Most notable is the fact that you can customize the homepage with whatever content you'd like to see. It is nice, because it offers a happy medium between google's sparse layout and yahoo's incredible clutter. In fact, even with all five default subjects (including sports, news, basics, entertainment, and holiday) checked, the homepage does not become unusable at all, which is nice.
Another big addition is the "Q&A" section, which is basically what it sounds like. Instead of asking Jeeves (you could, theoretically, ask what happened to Jeeves), you can ask other internet users if they know the answer to your question.
I love the concept - though you have to question whether or not internet users are going to be entirely helpful. The other small problem seems to be a lack of knowledge on the service, as even a simple question (I asked "Who is Martin Havlat?" - the best player on my favorite NHL team and former employer, the Chicago Blackhawks) and the first result that came up was titled "Who is the best player in the NHL") was not answered 100% to my satisfaction.
Again, it shows a lot of promise, and Live on the whole is a major step up from what MSN was (probably) because I never (at all) found any reason to use it, whereas Live is an interesting alternative to google.
November 19, 2006
NHL Partners with YouTube
Over the summer, I had the unique opportunity to work for the Chicago Blackhawks in a marketing capacity. The Blackhawks are an NHL team with a problem: nobody in Chicago really cares about the Blackhawks. Once, yes, but now... Not so much.
A lot of what we talked about was how to market the game to the fans in an interactive manner. How could we get them in contact with the players in ways beyond the game itself or the tv broadcast?
The result was youtube. Could we somehow put our highlights on youtube to let internet users have instant access to highlights at nearly no (bandwidth) cost to us?
Well, as it turns out, the NHL decided to take that idea and run with it. In spite of resistance by Major League Baseball and the National Football League (and their decisions to force youtube to take their content down), the NHL has decided to let users see what the game has to offer, and can you really blame them?
How can you not be at least a little bit excited when you see something like that?
There's no question that this is a good move for a league that desperately needed to make one. NHL.com already has one of the best league websites for streaming videos (including every goal scored by every player this year, conveniently organized by the player), but by using youtube, fans can record and upload their own highlights or compilations, bringing them a bit closer to the game.
In addition, they've partnered with Google video (which, of course, basically owns youtube, so why it is different confuses me) to allow the streaming of full games to google video users. What remains to be seen is if people will pay for the games - which is allegedly the plan, but for right now it is a brilliant idea.
I wish the page would be advertised more heavily, but as someone that wants to see the NHL succeed in this, I'll take what I can get. In a few weeks, after they start charging, I hope to revisit this to see whether or not the idea paid off for google or the NHL.
For our topic, we've selected Social Networking types as Marketing Tools. Hopefully we will be able to look into companies that use sites like MySpace and the Facebook to promote their products.