So, have you heard about You Tube’s new News Near You feature that senses your location and serves up a list of relevant videos?¬† They are partnering with local TV stations to obtain that video – so they can compete with you.¬† At least that was my immediate reaction until I talked with AR&D 2.0 guru Terry Heaton.
Now You Tube says this partnership will produce a new revenue source for TV stations – although at this time – the cash flow seems miniscule.¬† So, shouldn’t local TV newscasts be concerned about this latest ploy by a national Internet competitor?¬†¬† Again that was my reaction until Terry said to me, “that’s where your mass market mindset can trip you out.”¬†¬† That’s a nice way to tell me to quit thinking in the past.
Terry Heaton says he “absolutely believes” our clients should be ¬†partnering with You Tube in this venture.¬† The main reason, Terry says, “it is an audience that we will never reach any other way.”¬†¬† He points out that You Tube is the world’s second biggest search engine, and “they can’t find us if we’re not on there.”
OK, I can buy that argument – but just like when local stations started providing news on CNN – it means we are giving away our biggest strength – localism – that drives viewers to our TV station websites.¬† Again, Terry shot holes in my thinking.¬† He says, there is no evidence that supports that assumption, and that “there is plenty of evidence that the audience of You Tube is happy to stay right where they are.¬† So the reality is we are dismissing an entire generation because they have no interest in coming to TV station web sites.”¬†¬†¬† The clear implication is – the You Tubers simply have no interest in going to your local TV web site – but if your videos play on You Tube they might trip across your newscast – or start to have at least a video relationship with your news product.
Terry also offers a hard economic argument for partnering with You Tube to show your local newscast video.¬†¬† While the payments may be tiny now the money will grow – and when it does – it will go to those stations that are participating and partnering with You Tube.
So there you have it.¬† The advice to me – and you¬† – is get your head out of the past – and plunge it directly into the future.¬† It is all about being everywhere possible on the Internet – and You Tube is a highly visible place to be.
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