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MySpace Video expands with premium brands – Will we see a new ghost town or a Joost killer? May 15, 2007

Posted by John in Technology.
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So today MySpace announced that they’re launching more than a dozen online video channels from well known brands on MySpace Video. Among the providers are premium content creators like National Geographic, Reuters and New York Times as well as several lifestyle producers of video content. The channels will live side by side with the more spontaneous content created by the audience at My Space video and the new partners will be able to customize the interfaces of their content.

The battle of the viewer is on – that’s for sure. At PodTech we know that online video is a very powerful media of the future. Many players will be added to this arena.

The team behind online TV-project Joost notes MySpace’s new steps on its team-blog but with no added comments. Joost is taking a different route by enabling it’s content providers to stream content that lasts for 30 or up to 60 minutes. That’s a format more TV-like than both YouTube and MySpace Video will offer.

In large the blog community made thumbs down for the MySpace Video expansion. At Marketing Pilgrim Andy Beal writes that MySpace “doesn’t have the muscles yet to be able to compete head-on with YouTube”. Adario Strange, writing at Wireds Epicenter, calls it the move “an ineffective kneejerk reaction to another market phenomenon”.

Tech-writer Mathew Ingram questions the move by asking if anyone will find the content at all. And he notes that it is unclear if the content will be cross-linked to the providing company’s sites. That is – will MySpace have not only content for their viewers but also traffic from its new partners? Ingram also wonders if MySpace Video will meet the same destiny as it’s News section – a dead end. (Michael Arrington at TechCrunch wrote on that subject yesterday, describing the MySpace News section as something like a ghost town with little or few visitors).

However, at HipMojo blogger Froosh thought that today’s news was positive: “MySpaceVideo narrows the gap between its rival YouTube by also providing more professionally produced content,” he writes. And at Webware Josh Lowensohn considers the move a possible Joost killer. The fact that content from Reuters and National Geographic will overlap on Joost and MySpace Video puts the audience with a choice to download a player from Joost or just view the same channel instantly on MySpace Video, he notes saying that the “art of Simplicity” will put pressure on both Joost and MySpace Video for the sake of convenience for the audience.

The eyeball is thrown (Alea iacta est), as Caesar 2.0 probably would have put it…

By Anders Bjers, John Furrier and Tina Magnergard Bjers

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