NBC Direct is Live - Hands On : First Impressions
around the blogosphere : 11-12

New Dynamics: BlinkBox Vs. Hulu - sharing & commenting

Piracy_2 So you just saw a fantastic DVD or a fall-off-the-couch hillarious episode of The Office.  Now you want to share your favorite clip - and comment on it.  But how?

How would YOU share or comment on premium video content?

Until recently, I would have searched for the clip either on the content owner's site or more likely on YouTube - and then posted the clip to my social network site (ex. this blog) with a comment written above or below the content.

There are now new ways to share and comment on premium video content.  And while both of these solutions are still works in progress (still in beta), this is a trend traditional media properties NEED to continue to embrace.


If I want to insert a comment, I have to insert it below the video itself - as I am doing here.  Alternatively, I could email this clip with my own comments and a link to the video (link).



BlinkBox's format allows me to comment within the video stream itself.  This format is ideal for posting in a social network environment where I am most likely posting the video as a standalone piece of content and not as part of a text post. 

You can also share your video with other BlinkBox users internally, via email or direct to a mobile phone (UK and select European regions only).

There is some great content, and the video quality is quite good.

That being said, there are a few experiential elements I would like to see corrected in future builds:

  • There is an 80 character limit to embedded comments.  This just isn't enough space for meaningful commenting.
  • Finding clips is a pain.  You need to go into the BlinkBox site, find the right show and THEN find the right clip.  If the clip you're looking for isn't there, you're stuck.  It's too rigid.
  • Share to mobile is a nice feature, but not one that I would pay for - though the free sampleing offer is a nice touch.
  • BlinkBox automatically inserts their URL below the clip - see above. They already brand the player, inserting a text URL is taking it a bit too far for me.

Solutions RoundUp

Winner: BlinkBox - cutting your clip is far easier on the BlinkBox system.  Hulu's editing tool leaves much to be desired.

Winner: Hulu - Hulu's got GREAT content.  BlinkBox's content offering is spotty.

Overall Experience
Winner: Hulu - Hulu integrates the clipping/sharing solution within  the content viewing experience.  Clipping outside of the content viewing platform is not the most natural behavior.

Key Takeaways

  • Clipping and sharing are integral parts of the social media user experience.  Empowering users to interact with and promote your content in these manners is fundamental to New Media/Social Media Activation.
  • Both BlinkBox and Hulu will have their place.  BlinkBox's tight relationship with studios could generate a strong promotions channel for trailers and new releases.  Hulu's clipping tool is just the first step in sharing and socially interacting with video from within the viewing experience.
  • While ALMOST EVERYONE is busy suing YouTube, it's imperative that content owners provide easily accessible and user friendly channels for embedding premium video clips. 
  • These channels won't replace the YouTubes and OVGuide's of the world, but they do represent a significant shift in old school marketer strategy.
  • NBC Direct, Hulu, Joost, Veoh TV, BlinkBox and others are not the end game solutions,  but they do represent a significant trend. Traditional Media houses recognize that new models and solutions are needed to monetize their offerings in a new media environment.  While these may look like baby steps to digirati, they are significant strategic first steps from a mainstream media perspective.  Solutions will be found, the market will find a happy medium between user control and content owner rights. 

My Take: As for me, I'm going to be staying positive, focusing on the positive steps and suggesting next steps.  Mud slinging may be fun, but it isn't productive.  So let's try to stay positive everybody, alright?