The likelihood of this succeeding is zero. Think pressplay and MusicNet versus iTunes.
I can’t say it better than this so I’ll just lift it:
First, you can’t build anything interesting by committee. Second, this is not TV, this is the web. This is about rejecting everything about TV. Third, I watched and rooted for NBC to get their NBBC initiative right and they just messed it up. It’s not about content. It’s about context, convenience, and community. It’s about letting the audience dictate the experience, not having it dictated to them.
It’s also been proven to be much easier to say sorry than to get permission, though at some point you have to say sorry (right Napster?).
In the comments to the above post a few examples of successful industry collaboration were given (Orbitz and Career Builder being two) but the general consensus is that it’s a doomed effort. It is entirely possible that the announcement is just a negotiating ploy with Google/YouTube but my money is that it will either never launch or if it does it will be so crippled as to be laughable.
Of course YouTube is not immune to poor thinking either.
YouTube’s phone-based version will require a $15-a-month subscription to a Verizon Wireless service called VCast.
And instead of choosing what to watch from a vast library of clips, VCast users will be limited to an unspecified number of videos selected and approved by the companies.
Oh yeah, Verizon gets to vet the videos first to make sure that they meet their standards.
As Fred notes in his blog concerning the Verizon deal.
This deal violates the entire ethos of YouTube, not free, not open, exclusive, no community, limited, censorship, etc, etc.