YouTube used to be the destination for online video. Whether it be catching up on clips from American Idol, last night's The Daily Show or entire seasons of 24, YouTube was your answer.
But how have they challenged the status quo lately? How have they innovated? Cemented their leadership? All I've seen of late are distribution extensions (mobile, Tivo) and minor content quality tweaks. I'm not "blaming" YouTube for not signing traditional content licensing deals, but they could have done something.
Do you remember our excitement around YouTube debates and President Obama's first YouTube messages? Where has this momentum gone?
Last night, while the world was watching President Obama address the nation, the YouTube homescreen was dominated by old clips from The Oscars. While YouTube was showcasing last year's news, Hulu was live streaming a major presidential address to Congress and CNN/Facebook was delivering social co-viewing.
So what could YouTube be doing better?
- YouTube could be integrating with Twitter #hashtag discussions (ala CurrentTV).
- YouTube could be powering a partnership with a major newschannel or sports league to deliver live co-viewing of appointment based video.
- YouTube could be partnering with Qik, Kyte, Seesmic or any of dozens of innovative platforms, if only to "own" the restreaming experience.
But they haven't. They haven't changed. They haven't innovated.
YouTube was our video destination. Now they are our short-form video library.
YouTube painted themselves into a corner. Can they work their way out? Should they?
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Update: within hours of this post, YouTube reached out via private channels to discuss further. Great people, great team. Listening to the conversation is always a solid start towards fueling innovation. Looking forward to learning more about their new products/features.