Couple of very interesting articles up on Mashable today.
The first details MTV’s super smart handling of the Kanye West incident at Sunday’s VMA ceremonies. Whether or not you buy in to the theory that the incident was staged, you have to give MTV credit for realizing that they had an incredibly viral piece of content (and a terrific way to drive content to their site). They managed to keep the video clip off of You Tube but were smart enough to include an embed code on their own site. The result? Mashable reports:
2.7 million unique visitors hit MTV.com on Sunday – it’s highest VMA performance ever
5.5 million unique visitors hit MTV.com on Monday – the second best day in the site’s history
There were a total of 17.9 million video streams watched on the site Monday, the second highest stream total in the site’s history.
In addition, MTV set up a Twitter tracker that captured almost 2 million tweets on the subject.
Content leveraged, incredible numbers driven to their main site, and now the whole thing has become a meme with parodies, numerous blog posts, and ultimately tons of people talking about MTV and the VMAs.
That’s the smart way to handle exciting content.
Of course, (as Mashable notes) it would be much more effective if you could actually view the video in this post. And then pass it on to friends via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. But you can’t. Because MLB didn’t provide an embed code. So content that promotes the very best aspects of MLB’s product remains at only one destination without the chance to reach potentially millions of interested viewers. Want to bet that the MLB site doesn’t see the same boost in traffic that MTV experienced.
The sad part is that MLB Advanced Media is one of the smartest, most web-savvy outfits out there. They’ve created terrific digital video products, cutting edge iPhone apps and numerous other ways for fans to interact with their product online. Our guess is that MLB’s lawyers put their foot down and are treating this content like actual game footage (which they’ve already made clear is something that they won’t allow).
Like the major sports leagues Draconian policies against athletes twittering during games, this reflect old media thinking. These days rules about content distribution need to be seen as guidelines rather than inflexible regulations. It means miore work for the legal department and giving up some control (something lawyers hate). But the payoff, as MTV has proven yet again, can be huge.
What’s are your policies regarding content redistribution? Is your organization ready for it’s “Kanye” moment?