Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

One-Click Rules!

We increasingly live in a complicated world in which those things that can be done in one click get done, and those that can't, don't. And those things that are done often acquire increasing salience. Hence the dominance of YouTube:

Gimme my embedded video! - Download Squad: Jordan Running: This has been bugging me for awhile, and I've just got to get it out in the open: If I want to put a cool movie trailer, a funny Comedy Central clip, or a news clip on my web site, why do I have to go to YouTube, where some kid has uploaded it in violation of the owner's copyright, and where as likely as not it'll be yanked a few days later, in order to do it? I'm talking about stuff that's already on the web--Comedy Central puts the best clips from its shows on its own web site, as does NBC for Saturday Night Live, and Apple.com has all the best movie trailers. But while I can stick a pirated clip from YouTube on my web site with two clicks, there's usually no simple, straightforward way to do the same thing from a legitimate site.

Some companies have shown signs of getting a clue. Google Video... some movies and TV shows--in particular those targeted at the youth market--now have a presence on YouTube... a few big record labels... but the selection remains pretty bare. What troubles me is that there's no discernible disadvantage for companies to put their own TV clips, movie trailers, and music videos online in a YouTube-like way. There can't be a technical barrier--the tiny dev team at Netscape.com put together their impressive embeddable video-sharing feature in a matter of weeks--nor a commercial one--movie trailers are advertisements, as are TV clips.... What's more, if they hosted their own embeddable videos, they could decide what plays before and after them instead of some kid on YouTube deciding for them, and though they'd be crazy to put anything longer than a two seconds before the video, after the video is a great time to advertise, as the Revver folks have discovered.

So, movie studios, TV networks, ad agencies, and record companies, here's my plea: Let me advertise your stuff on my web site. Hire some smart folks to put together a Flash player... give me HTML snippets to copy and paste... and let my visitors see your stuff, and your ads, without the extra clicks and without waiting for your lame Windows Media Player to load.

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