Home YouTube and Yahoo Introduce Online Video Channels

YouTube and Yahoo Introduce Online Video Channels

Interesting moves in the online video market as YouTube announced “a major upgrade of its Web site”
last Friday, just a day afterYahoo announced its
own video upgrade. Both have introduced a channels feature – similar to tv
channels, or so they like to claim. Yahoo’s June 1 press release
was entitled: ‘Yahoo makes Web video search more like TV channels’. The very next day YouTube announced
its own channel feature, enabling users “to subscribe to channels that focus on the
latest work of favorite artists or topical themes.”

In the Yahoo Video site, a channel is
defined as:

“A channel is a series of videos from the same source or user. If you like a channel
you can add it to your Favorites page.”

Here’s what a Yahoo Video channel looks like:

And here’s an example of a YouTube channel:

Channel Comparison

Yahoo’s channels have all the usual ‘user-generated content’ features – ratings, tags,
subscribe buttons, review. To set up a video channel, you click on ‘My Studio’. It’s all
pretty slick and has a ‘professional’ feel to it.

YouTube’s channels seem a lot more social – and blog-like. You can view
subscribers, connect with them, leave comments in channels, send messages, add the
channel owner as a friend, etc. All the features you’d find on MySpace or another social

The channels I found on YouTube were predominantly of individuals, whereas on
Yahoo I mostly found channels by entities such as website brands (or maybe I just
didn’t look hard enough). So I do get the sense that YouTube’s channels are much more of
a personal thing for YouTube users, whereas Yahoo is pitching their channels more like…
well, more like a tv channel. But that distinction makes this quote from the YouTube
press release seem kind of odd:

“YouTube said that it aims to move beyond depending on the latest hit videos, which
spread like wild fire across the Internet via e-mail. Instead, it wants to create a
personalized programming experience akin to TV viewers surfing channels with a remote

The “personalized programming experience” I can dig, but why compare that to tv
channel surfing with a remote control? Ugh! I don’t like this comparison to broadcast tv
and I’m not sure why YouTube is going down that track, when they’re promoting what is
essentially a video social network. What’s social about sitting on a couch and tv channel

Other than that, I like YouTube’s more SNS approach. It’ll be interesting to track
YouTube and Yahoo as they each pursue online video channels in slightly different

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