I got an email overnight from my buddy Hooman Radfar of Clearspring Technologies, tipping me to this morning's announcement that NBC Universal is partnering with his company to widgetize their video experience. Consumers will be able to personalize widgets to include content from a variety of NBC news and sports properties, as well as from DotComedy and iVillage, and distribute them through their own blogs, social network profiles, wikis, start pages and other sites.
From the press release:
"We want to create a fun, shared experience for our users and understand their needs as they interactive with out content beyond our online properties," said Sab Kanaujia, Vice President of Digital Product Strategy & Development, NBC Universal. "Changes in the behavior of online users and innocation in technology has provided us with new opportunities to grow the reach of our content and brands online."
In other words, maybe (just maybe) they're starting to understand that people really don't want to visit broadcaster-operated destination sites to get access to warmed-over broadcast content.
I still question the logic behind the NBC-Fox joint video venture and will probably wait to see exactly what content (are we talking about meaningful programming or just promos) NBC allows fans to widgetize before I declare this a winning strategy. Care to comment Hooman or NBC?
But at face value the combination of branded NBC destinations, controlled syndication through the joint venture partnerships and, now, consumer-controlled viral distribution seems like the right kind of multi-tiered approach the networks need to take if they want to regain relevance in a media landscape characterized by virtually unlimited choice.
See the press release here: Download NBCU_FINAL.doc