No one can argue that well-produced entertainment will draw an online crowd. If there's interesting product available online, then visitors or viewers will stream it. Especially if these media powerhouses have exclusive rights for recent fare, the demand will be there.
Finally, we have reached the point where it's acceptable to view longer videos. The online players work better, video is higher quality, and it's possible to consume video on different kinds of monitors/screens.
Frankly, I don't know why the consortium has been labeled as "Clown Co."
There's demand for online video, which hasn't been exhausted yet. From a marketing perspective, it's possible to promote blockbuster programming. Or perhaps a cable/satellite VOD type approach could work, by appealing to many smaller segments instead.
Let's consider the impact of long-form video opportunities. Instead of the three-minute clips, site visitors stick around. If they watch entire TV episodes, then that's over 20 minutes for a half-hour TV show or 45 minutes for an hour-long program. It's safe to assume that time spent will increase substantially versus current grazing times.
What about the revenue opportunities? There seem to be myriad ad placements. First, video ads can evolve from pre-roll to short commercial breaks. After all, the visitors are more committed to watching these videos. Second, there's advertising real estate surrounding the video screens. That means there are targeted video, banner and text ads to test here.
It's telling that the branded advertisers are committing themselves upfront. Of course, they trust old and new media already. It's not a linear buy like TV, so the reach and frequency numbers will be different. To keep the brands interested, the inventory will need to be growing and plentiful.
This consortium isn't meant to be a Google-YouTube killer or a portal that does everything, but should create some critical mass. If everyone can cooperate, then this might become a textbook example of old-new media success.