“The network nobody owns”

Jeff Jarvis uses stats from MSNBC’s online coverage of the Pope’s passing to make a case (again) for free, linkable video from television.

Earlier this week, MSNBC said there had been 850,000 accesses of Pope-related streamed video on its Web site, msnbc.com. By Friday, it said, that number had jumped to almost four million (3,989,000).…

Now, some of those hits are certainly repeat customers, but it is still an impressive number, particularly given that in March, MSNBC averaged 336,000 viewers per day to its cable channel.

Imagine how much bigger it would be if the audience didn’t have to stream and could watch anytime, anywhere… if MSNBC provided downloads the audience could distribute.

I’ll take any excuse to repeat my favorite stats: Jon Stewart’s Crossfiricide got a few hundred thousand views on big, old CNN but 7 million on iFilm and untold millions on Bittorrent.

I think Jeff is right about tapping this “network nobody owns” to build brand and generate revenue. The problem is that stations and networks won’t separate their video streams from the launch pad that is their portal Website. It’s that old need to command and control, but in so doing, they give up potentially significant ad revenue, to say nothing of branding and good will amongst the citizen media that would happily pass along the videos.

Why are we so bound to our portals?


  1. Because for most of those without the time/expertise to go to raw sources, portals play an important “editing” role. Assuming we agree with how they edit.

    I still was a huge fan of C‑SPAN (another “network nobody owns,” at least in the sense it showed raw footage) during the Reagan funeral. Straightforward images and coverage. Not a single word of commentary or ego self-gratification disguised as commentary.

  2. I like what you are saying. Or rather I like the thought of the material being turned loose from soandso.com but how many videos do you think I (or some less or even more interested party) would download and watch with a somethingNN.com watermark on it before I would go there and check out the website and adds that are placed there. OR are you suggesting that these circulating pieces of media have adds built in(yuck) thanks for doing what you do

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