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.
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 a 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.