A Tech-Econ Mashup with a Libertarian Flavor

The Feds’ YouTube Channel

Google reports that the federal government now has its own YouTube channel. There, viewers can watch weekly addresses from President Obama, videos from NASA, the Department of Education, and several other government agencies. The move into cyberspace is part of Barack Obama’s goal to make government more transparent and accessible, although my guess is that outside of political junkies and Obamaphiles, government videos aren’t going to capture much attention. Obama’s first weekly video (released during inauguration week, four months ago) has been viewed about 1.2 million times; the  Slap-Chop Rap has been viewed 2.1 million times in the last month, and this idiot kid  has been viewed 4 million times in the last three weeks (and my faith in humanity has just died a little more).  The view counts for all of BHO’s videos since inauguration week have steadily declined, and last week’s video is sitting at 85 thousand views. But the government videos are there if you want ’em, and that’s probably a step in the right direction.

So, can we do away with those televised presidential addresses now? I don’t watch much television, but it always seems that the SOTU is on the one night I want to watch House, or whatever. 

Also, it looks like all the videos are in the public domain, so have at it, comedic media mash-uppers! (Masher-ups? Up-mashers? What’s the correct word here?)


Filed under: Internet, Politics, , ,

MTV, VH1 Losing Their Audience (Viacom is Screwed). posted an article yesterday about media giant Viacom and its disappointing 2nd quarter results. Apparently, those darned kids are to blame:

The culprits, according to the Wall Street Journal , were MTV and VH1. And although the company expects the ratings to return soon, thanks to the season premiere of “The Hills” and the MTV Video Music Awards in September — we suspect it’s not just the economy or a short-term ratings dip that ails Viacom.

The fundamental problem could be that the “youth demo” that Viacom has hotly chased after for the last couple decades is a bust. Teens and twenty-somethings don’t watch TV anymore; they don’t read newspapers; and they’re technologically promiscuous — how can big media sell advertising against them if you can’t corner them in front of any single device?

Dauman hinted at the problem, but he didn’t address it head on when he said some viewers are migrating from broadcast networks to cable channels, but “the trend did not benefit some of our networks that cater to younger demographics.” The key takeaway: Young people have left, and they’re not coming back.

Memo to Viacom: Instead of suing Google and Youtube, realize that Youtube can be your friend.

Related: Viacom and “Gootube” have reached a deal that will allow Youtube to remove usernames and IP addresses from user data before handing it over to Viacom. Score another point for privacy!

Filed under: Entertainment, , , , , ,


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