The water in the (video) pot is getting hotter

Warner Music Group’s deal with Brightcove to put video on its music sites is yet another fragmentation in the video distribution marketplace that ought to make broadcasters sit up and take notice. According to an article in today’s Online Media Daily, Brightcove will handle ad sales in the deal.

The Web-based players will encompass music videos, artist interviews, live performances and “behind-the-scenes” material. Through the deal, Warner will also allow bloggers, social networking sites and other Web publishers to add its video on-demand service to their sites. Sites that syndicate the Warner video programming will be able to share in ad revenue.
In the past, companies like Warner were strictly content creators that relied on detached distribution systems to get the word out, but that’s all changed now. The web allows them to be something they could never have dreamed of years ago, and this is just the beginning. More and more companies with goods to sell will be getting into the video game, and these efforts are competition for eyeballs in the overall video marketplace.

The pair of eyeballs watching an artist interview on a Warner Music Group site won’t be watching anything else at that time. And the fact that Warner is unbundling this content from the sites is the real incumbent killer. If that artist interview can be seen on Joe Blow’s blog, who needs the Today Show?

The message for broadcasters is pretty clear. The only thing we have now that others don’t is a temporary lock on local video, and this is not something that will last much longer. Newspapers, citizen journalists and video bloggers are all knocking at the door, and if we lose the local video niche, all is lost.

Like the proverbial frog in the hot water, we’re enjoying the bath, but the disruption is cooking us.

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