Viacom, the parent company of a number of first class brands like MTV and VH1, made several big moves this week which further emphasis its focus in distributing video online. The first move was a deal with Google to distribute video content via Google’s Adsense for Video product. The move enables anyone using that can insert Viacom video content into a web site to help in distributing it. The second deal, was the acquisition of Atom Entertainment, the online video and gaming entertainment site, for $200 million. This move appears to be further bolsters and diversifies Viacom’s stockpile of youthful online content assets like Neopets, iFilm and XFire. Additionally, there are rumors swirling around the web that Viacom is in a bidding war with News Corp for the social networking site, Bebo. Bebo recently surpassed MySpace in the UK in weekly visits (according to a Hitwise report).
With Disney's reported earnings skyrocketing 39 percent, it appears they are taking a different road than Viacom when it comes to distributing online video content. Robert Iger, chief executive at Disney recently declared Disney would not lock in with one of the content portals like Yahoo or Google to distribute its content assets. It might suggest that Disney is sticking to its guns and longtime premium content approach which consisted of physically locking video content up in a place called the “Disney Vault.”
Is Iger made it sounds like they may be thinking of transcending the "Disney Vault" into an on online destination portal and distributing their content themselves?
I do not know if that will work in today’s online world as barriers of entry for an individual to produce and syndicate video content have been diminished by web 2.0 (visit YouTube to see the phenomenon in action). Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see what happens as both Viacom and Disney look to take strategically separate video content routes.