AT&T launched its own video portal. http://entertainment.att.net/tv. We are not impressed, even if this is a “soft launch” that is “a step forward for our three-screen strategy to provide more content to more customers across any device” (Broadcast Room, via TechCrunch and George Strompolos, YouTube’s Technical Support lead. 😉
Mkay- so now anyone can skin Hulu and a few network sites and create their own portal! Cough, cough… BudTV all over again, but without any unique programming.
In fairness, this could get interesting if it was a cable provider that was breaking down the artificial boundaries between television (especially painful video-on-demand via a cable provider) and online-video via computers and mobile players. For instance, if Verizon (my cable and web provider) allowed me to experience exactly the same thing on my computer as I do from the stupid box that’s slower than 3-toed sloth on Xanax.
Cable can’t evaporate quickly, but I hate the dependency on a hot, ugly, annoying box that’s slow, restricted, and has the crappiest user-interface since the Palm Pilot. Heck I pay an additive TiVo subscription (and bought the box) for our bedroom TV just so I can bypass the stupid Verizon interface. Where possible, I’d rather use my AppleTV to buy shows, because TiVo’s link to Amazon is cumbersome (offset by its easy access to Netflix’s “all you can eat” library, which I also ingest via Roku).
But I digress… a friggin’ AT&T portal? Even if the company puts marketing dollars behind it, what on EARTH do we need another Hulu or YouTube for? Oh- maybe because I’d prefer watching my ABC preroll ads while enjoying AT&T banner ads, as opposed to the ones on the archaic ABC.com or Hulu?
In a few years, where we have equal access to stuff on the three screens (television, computer and mobile video), do you honestly think we’ll be saying, “check out this AT&T video on my AT&T phone!”
I mean, for starters it just doesn’t roll off the tongue. Everything else aside, Hulu and YouTube are simply linguistically more attractive… in 2010 who has time for four syllables and acronyms? In retrospect, than God I chose a one-syllable YouTube username.