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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Video Spam a Growing Problem ... LA Times on Viacom's Motives ... and ShoWest News

- The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has a piece headlined, 'Spam Hits Video Sites, Misleading Web Viewers.' Spammers upload videos to advertise a product, but then describe them as something else entirely -- like Paris Hilton in the buff. Sites like AOL say they've noticed an increase in the past six months. Kevin Delaney writes:

    or spammers, there may soon be a clear economic incentive to post bogus videos: More video sites may start sharing ad revenue with the people who upload videos. For example, spammers could be paid each time someone viewed a video they posted or clicked on an ad accompanying their clip. YouTube executives have said they might share revenue with individuals in that way eventually.

    Such an approach could encourage spammers to increase the use of false pretenses to draw users. But Revver Inc., a site that already pays people when ads accompanying their clips are clicked, says video spam submitted to it has actually dropped over the past year. It says its employees review each clip before putting it up on the site.

- The LA Times says that Viacom's suit against YouTube is all about money and control. Most interesting quote is at the very end:

    Viacom CEO Philippe P. Dauman said his company went to court to enforce its copyrights and protect its valuable brands, such as MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. That doesn't mean Viacom won't one day strike a deal with YouTube. "Certainly, Dauman said, "we could find ways to operate in a YouTube environment that would be compatible with our brands."

- Sharon Waxman of the NY Times reports from ShoWest. She notes:

    Exhibitors have ... not rushed to install digital projectors in their theaters, an expensive process whose cost they are sharing with Hollywood studios. After years of discussions with manufacturers, there are now 2,300 screens across the country with digital projectors, still a small fraction of the nation’s 37,000. The higher-quality equipment is not expected to be widely installed until 2009, when a few high-profile movies in 3D requiring digital projection (like James Cameron’s “Avatar”) are scheduled for release.

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