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daily show bonanza October 18, 2007

Posted by KG in comedy, news, politics, tech, television.
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Rather than providing just a sampling of the program’s fare, as Viacom and other TV networks have done for years, Comedy Central is offering the works: about 13,000 video clips representing every minute of the show since its 1999 inception.

The site (www.thedailyshow.com) is meant to pull in advertising money from Day One, but it also will be something of a test lab for Viacom and perhaps for rivals looking over its shoulder.

Entertainment companies know in their bones that their material has great value to Web surfers, but so far nobody has found the right formula of unobtrusive yet effective ads.

“Comedy Central is doing what a lot of others are planning,” said Allen Weiner, an analyst for research firm Gartner Inc. “They’re much further along in what I would call monetization.”

The database is searchable by both date and topic, making it a potential bonanza for students of American pop culture. If you want to see what host Jon Stewart has had to say about former First Lady Barbara Bush or ill-fated Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, you can find the clips and put them in context by seeing what else was featured on the same day.

Today’s launch is a competitive response to YouTube. Google Inc.’s hit video-sharing site stirred Viacom’s ire — and a $1-billion copyright-infringement suit — by allegedly allowing users to post clips of “The Daily Show,” “South Park,” “The Colbert Report” and other popular Viacom shows without permission or compensation.

but with the give comes the inevitable take:

Like other search sites, including those from Google and Yahoo Inc., “The Daily Show” will allow sponsors to peg ads to particular topics on its website and feed potentially valuable information about consumer tastes back to the company.

fortunately, it seems like they’ve actually found some kind of happy medium between free content and overly intrusive and annoying ads.