In meetings for more than a year, Fox, Viacom, NBC and CBS have pretended that they can coordinate to create a network-friendly online video site. Competitors partering. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. During some meetings, Viacom executives have been known to pour fake tea in plastic tea cups. When some participants don’t show up to meetings, the others place stuffed animals in their empty seats. Here’s the CNN Money story.
Anyway, I’ve blogged before about why this sort of thing is nearly impossible. I’ve worked on analogous efforts outside the media industry and it’s not easy for competitors to partner on something (even when it’s critical to their collective survival) unless a STRONG intermediary is taking the lead and the individual players give authority and accountability to that player. Otherwise the interests of specific participants will almost always trump to collective goal.
The quaint tea party will, of course, eventually get a site live and a press release out. But not until the attorneys have spent months and months developing terms about advertising sharing, content ownership and other legalities concerning control. And, of course, the site will be more driven by the needs of each representative from the networks… and the user will become a means to an end.
Most initiatives driven by fear are short lived. The powerful and breakout initiatives are typically driven by an individual or team with great passion to create something that meets an unmet need — not something that protects interests.
I’m SO working this into my plotline for GooTubeConspiracy.