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Main > Archives > 2007 > October > YouTube: AOL of the 21st Century?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

YouTube: AOL of the 21st Century?

Competitors are known to diss the market leaders out of envy, but sometimes they can make a point. In an interview with AFP, Blinkx' founder Suranga Chandratillake compared YouTube to AOL from the late 80's to early 90s, and in some ways he's right.

Until recently AOL grew big, and for a long time profitable, as a walled garden, directing users to a limited subset of Internet content from which it derived its income.

"In that sense, YouTube spotted a demographic and a content type that would work in today's marketplace and went for it. But, user-generated content shared by college students is not the only kind of video we are all going to be watching, there is a lot more to it."

In that comparison Chandratillake is correct - YouTube focuses on mostly user-generated content. But blinkx in fact is more like AOL in basing its success on leveraging relationships with content from "traditional" and professional media companies. While blinkx does index the greater web as well, its strength is in organizing content from the leading media companies. Instead of charging subscribers like AOL, however, like YouTube blinkx is relying on ad revenue to compensate its media partners. Revenue sharing agreements have replaced the licensing fees of yesterday, and blinkx is keeping with the times while avoiding risk.

The company will also roll out a Joost competing Internet TV application soon. Is Joost the Netscape of internet TV?

By John Gartner at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

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