I’ve been wondering what MTV is going to do about YouTube, what with all that “free” user-generated content and all. I mean, why would “I want my MTV” when I can go to YouTube, type in the artist or video of my choosing, and watch it now, as many times as I like, over and over, and then send it to my friend via email?
MTV President Judy McGrath hinted at a recent CTAM Summit that MTV will be launching a service similar to YouTube sometime in the near future.
“Video is our expertise. … We’re looking at acquisitions and builders,” Ms. McGrath said. YouTube has created a “new definition of social video,” and “if you look at a chart [of the growth of user-generated content] it’s like a hockey stick,” she said.
No doubt. But the question is, What can MTV do to take a platform like YouTube to the next level without appearing derrivative? Since YouTube has already established itself as the first of its kind in video blogging – it has the brand and the audience – MTV’s only chance at survival is to make YouTube seem inconvenient and out-dated. And they can do this by focusing on the audience’s experience. MTV will have to develop a cleaner, more user-friendly interface with a faster, more specialized search engine, and higher-quality videos for viewing. Then they will have to make it easier or “better” for users to upload conent; wrestle with copyright law and file sharing; determine their new role with record labels; and figure out how to make a profit in all of this – something that YouTube is itself trying to determine at present.
Should be interesting…