Comedy Central has taken another crack at a redesign of their online content interface [website]. Their high-profile past issues with video content was much discussed on teh Internets. We even discussed it at length last November.
They took what was then the unpopular approach of taking their content back from the user-posted world. Comedy Central, it seemed, wanted to control the quality, context, and subsequent potential ad revenue. The site design that followed made the content subservient to all concerns: keeping their content on the Comedy Central site, massive & cumbersome ad placement, and prohibiting embedding on other sites. Only direct links to the interface were provided. To the world of user-posted-clip consumers this was clearly a step backwards.
Comedy Central’s last revision took place last week, and they have put these very features back in. The interface is much cleaner, the videos are larger & higher resolution, and embeddable. A comments section now lets people chatter on about their favorite clips. Adverts are post-roll and much shorter & less painful.
This is a smart move, methinks, as it accomplishes two things: it gets adverts in front of people, and the content can be easily and freely dispersed throughout the tubes of teh Internets.
NBC could learn a lesson here. I tried to view a hysterical clip from last weekend’s Saturday Night Live. I turned to YouTube, found a link, and was greeted with this notification that NBC Universal had removed the clip:
I surfed over the the NBC site to give the source a try. No such luck there. No indications of where I could get it, either. The only thing they provided was a linear rundown of the show. Useless. Perhaps they are hawking the clips on iTunes?
Kind of. I was greeted there with a special section offering 16 – 25 minute ‘best-of’ compilations from each week’s show. Neat, but the week I sought was not available. Even if it were, they might not place the sketch clip on that compilation. Here is the store:
NBC, you waste my time and failed to take advantage of the opportunity to serve me at least 3 or four adverts. You are not letting people consume content in the way they choose. And I am not spending $2.00 in iTunes for it, either. I am not the only one, I am certain.