As I suggested over a year ago, Google are getting into the content business. As rumored two months ago, Google have purchased Next New Networks for an undisclosed sum. This makes sense as Next New was heavily dependent on YouTube for distribution.
This is the first direct entry of the two ‘new distribution’ giants – Google and Apple – into being a content company rather than simply distributing other people’s content. Now, Next New is a niche producer and this isn’t exactly what I was thinking about in December ’09 but it is a step in that direction.
Next New doesn’t produce mainstream “Hollywood” content but it shows just how precarious the position of Networks (and Cable Channels) are when it comes to being the middleman. If Apple or Google wanted to bypass them and commission content directly from producers, there’s no reason they couldn’t.
I believe Chuck Lorre has an opening now that Two and a Half Men has sacked Charlie Sheen. (A smilie emoticon would be appropriate here.)
From the Silicon Alley Insider coverage:
However, the New York Times says that Google will be creating “minimal” original programming, focusing on building out its platform and letting YouTube partners make the content.
The idea is to create more professional content that can draw repeat, longer-term viewers, instead of just the “dog on skateboard” stuff, music videos, and pirated TV clips that represent a lot of YouTube traffic today.
To that point, Google also announced a new program called “YouTube Next” that will give video producers grants and training.