Competition is a good thing, right?

I was reminded again this morning of Stowe Boyd’s wonderful line from the Micropayments story below:

Imagine if some group of news companies could put aside their competitive instincts long enough to see what Huffington Post is up to.

Ah, those competitive instincts. As I have written many times, they are the biggest block to progress for media companies online, because media companies foolishly think that their only competition is other media companies.

Today, MediaPost offers an interesting little piece on the plans by CBS for their video portal, TV.com (it came in the deal with CNet). The idea is to use the portal for video, information and social-networking, the latter being the differentiator with other sites.

Because of CBS’ non-exclusive big-tent approach to online video and TV, Soohoo (Anthony Soohoo, SVP and GM of entertainment and lifestyle for CBS Interactive) claims that TV.com “actually has the largest TV show library on the Web.” TV.com has deals with Sony, MGM, PBS, and Endemol as well as Fox and NBC content through Hulu. There is, of course, content from CBS and CW.

Interesting that TV.com will be pulling videos from Hulu.com, the NBC and Fox video portal. ABC will be next.

These guys just can’t seem to get that a one-stop shop would be the winner, but those competitive instincts are likely to keep it from happening. The idea should be to compete within a known universe, a single web address, rather than compete against each other via the whole web. I wrote about this in 2007 (Creating Spectrum Within Spectrum).

TV.com is a great brand and one that would play nicely with everybody in the TV space. It creates an immediate image of what it is. YouTube has everything else. Sorry.

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