Comcast Joining the Online Video Fray
Comcast Corp., the cable television and ISP giant is planning to launch a new video uploading/sharing site to compete with YouTube, dubbed Ziddio.com. Set to officially unveil in late November or early December, this should make for an interesting test of YouTube's prominence in the market. While YouTube has exploded in popularity, there are many users out there who may feel slightly less intimidated using Comcast.com - even more so when considering that many users will have Comcast as their default browser and home page, negating the need to visit an unfamiliar site. First impressions give Ziddio.com a very comfortable look and feel, even a bit more inviting that YouTube.
The most interesting difference with this new site is the convergence of Internet and television. Comcast will select the best videos and air them on their on demand television service. What's more, contests will be held where winning videos could be broadcast on standard cable television channels. One, the messiest house contest, will ask users to upload videos of their squalor and the winner will have their video shown on a special episode of "Clean House," a show on the Comcast-owned Style Network. Imagine the masses of users that will start learning how to upload their videos in hopes of ending up on the boob tube! The cross-branding, cross-media advertising possibilities are immense.
This could be a huge step forward, as Internet and television pundits have been searching for ways to effectively integrate user-generated video and other means into mainstream media outlets, such as the ever-powerful family television. Just like the reality/user-generated styled "Borat" movie is running away with box office receipts, a new in-road to user-generated television is emerging.