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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Why the Verizon/YouTube deal doesn't matter (and other Tuesday news)

- Starting next month, Verizon will start offering subscribers to its V CAST media service access to a selection of YouTube videos on their cell phones. Here's the Wall Street Journal story...Reuters...NY Times. Here's a video reaction from Engadget blogger Pete Rojas.

Here's why this is not an important deal:

    1. Verizon and YouTube will select the clips. According to the Times story, they'll have to meet "the company’s editorial and taste guidelines," whatever those are.
    2. They haven't specified how many clips they're going to offer at a given time, but I'd be surprised if it was more than 100. YouTube's popularity has been, in part, about its incredible breadth of content
    3. You won't be able to share a particular video you've made (say, at last weekend's party) with a group of friends -- one of the original reasons YouTube was created
    4. Copyrighted material uploaded without permission won't be offered -- one of the content groups that helped fuel YouTube's growth
    5. The V CAST service only works with certain cell phones, and it costs an additional $15 a month.

- TiVo is planning to try inserting new ads that it sells at the end of recorded shows, according to the Journal. It's not clear why someone who has skipped through all the ads in the middle of a show will choose to watch one at the end, as TiVo seems to be arguing.

- GQ recounts the history of YouTube. (Via the Risky Biz blog.)