Viacom to Make MTV Videos Embeddable For BlogsReuters reports that Viacom is going to make MTV videos and other Viacom video content available for embedding in blogs and on websites. The news follows Viacom's recent request that YouTube remove 100,000+ of its video clips from YouTube.com.
A deal with YouTube still hasn't been ruled out and the Viacom threat to launch its own video embedding sites could just be part of a negotiation tactic.You won't find clips of comedian Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" and MTV's "Pimp My Ride" on YouTube any more, but Viacom Inc. is laying the groundwork for its videos to be available to hundreds of thousands of other sites.
In the next few months, Web users will be able to grab videos from nearly all MTV-owned sites and post them on their own blogs or Web sites, lessening the need to go to YouTube (http://www.youtube.com), the top online video service that Google Inc. acquired last year.
Viacom, owner of MTV Networks and the Paramount movie studio, had been planning for this move months before it demanded earlier this month that YouTube remove more than 100,000 unauthorized Viacom video clips from its site, after failing to reach a distribution deal.
Viacom has offered embedded videos on other sites so they probably will follow through and offer it on the MTV websites even if they still cut a deal with YouTube. Viacom added an embedding feature on Comedy Central's Motherload site last December but the technology is not quite as smooth as YouTube's. At that time the Motherload embedding code also had expiration dates which could have made bloggers and website owners less interested in embedding them. Looking at the Motherload site now it appears that the expiration dates have been removed which is a good thing.Viacom has not ruled out a deal with YouTube yet, while analysts say the dust-up is mere negotiating tactic. But Viacom also sees staying relevant to a new generation of media consumers as a top priority. To do so, they are borrowing ideas from the very companies they compete against.
Update: BBC is now reporting on the same story. They quote MTV Networks president of global digital media Mika Salmi who says, "We need to open up our websites and content both for consumers and for other companies."
Posted on February 12, 2007