NBC Drops YouTube

Last week, NBC pulled the plug on its very successful YouTube channel. The following TubeMogul chart, shows NBC’s views dropped to zero on October 19th. NBC’s YouTube page no longer exists.

The reason? NBC is launching their own video distribution network, Hulu.

Is this a smart move? I understand NBC wanting to control (read: monetize) the distribution of their content, but NBC’s YouTube channel was all about promotion (and I’m sure they could’ve played with video ads there as well). With the move, NBC has left millions of viewers in the dark – just like that. If Hulu was ready to go, I might understand the move (although, how are YouTube viewers supposed to figure out the content is now at Hulu?)… but the fact is that Hulu is still in private beta, closed to the general public.

In any case, NBC should have kept their YouTube channel and used it to publicize their Hulu service, that way maximizing YouTube’s promotional aspect. YouTube is limited to 10-minute long clips, while Hulu will supposedly host full length content as well.

Hulu needs to work amazingly well from the start. In addition to good content in the proper formats, it’ll need to offer:

  • a positive user experience (usability, reliability)
  • social networking tools
  • sharing and embedding
  • no buffering problems
  • a stable server farm that won’t buckle under the huge user load
  • bearable ads

What do you think? Was pulling the plug on YouTube a good move? Does Hulu have a chance?

NBC’s escape from YouTube was chronicled around the web:

Online Video: NBC pulls YouTube channel

Could this move be a sign that Hulu, scheduled for “private beta” testing this month, is finally ready?

The Facts About NBC (GE) on YouTube, Hulu, and iTunes* – Silicon Alley Insider

Also, read Silicon Alley Insider’s take on Hulu’s exclusivity deal with NBC.

NBC’s YouTube Channel Goes M.I.A. on Epicenter

…the real question is whether or not viewers will feel comfortable leaving YouTube to view NBC’s shorter clips on the new site. If pulling the plug on its YouTube channel without warning is how NBC is going to roll, then it’s not looking good.

US TV – News – NBC pulls content from YouTube – Digital Spy

An NBC spokeswoman confirmed promotional content would no longer be available on YouTube. She said it was “not antagonistic” but a move designed to support Hulu.

She said NBC still might put promotional content on YouTube “as we see fit”. The network was not “closing the door” on anybody, she added.

NBC Leaves YouTube

Is NBC putting too much stock in their own service? They offered video clips for free on YouTube even when iTunes sold complete versions of the same episodes. I assumed the logic was that you could see a clip for free on YouTube and then decide to purchase the episode over on iTunes. Between the two monster services, NBC was getting wide exposure. Now pulling videos from both for their own service seems like a step in the wrong direction. No exposure, other than stories like this stating why the move has been done.

Big Media vs. YouTube & Google: Smart or Not? « GigaOM

It is my belief that these companies are in the business of content, not distribution. Offering their content on their own properties may give them a lift in terms of page views, but at the same time they also run the risk of losing the audience that simply seeks out such content on sites such as YouTube.

NBC Confirms Pulling YouTube Content for Hulu « NewTeeVee

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