Viacom to introduce Video Venture, challenges YouTube

Viacom and YouTube logos on boxing gloves In an attempt to challenge the world’s biggest video sharing website YouTube, Viacom has announced that it intends to make videos of thousand of sites available.

MTV, which is owned by Viacom, will soon allow web users to post almost all videos from MTV-owned sites on their own blogs and sites.

This step comes after Viacom took a decision on February 2, 2007, whereby it ordered YouTube to remove over 100,000 unauthorized Viacom clips from the site, claiming copyright infringement.

Mike Salmi, president of global digital media at MTV Networks said that the decision was made due to the need to open up Viacom’s websites and content for consumers and other companies.

However, this is not the first time that Viacom is venturing into the avenue of letting people take content and add it to their own sites. In the past too, Viacom’s Comedy Central site and brands iFilm and AddictingGames already sanctioned this. It will enable Viacom’s videos to reach a greater number of people by taking advantage of the social-networking potential of the internet that has been encouraged by sites such as MySpace.

Google has agreed to distribute ad-supported video clips from MTV Networks through its AdSense network.

“Collaborating with Google gives us a terrific opportunity to take our content and distribute it even more widely on the web in a seamless and targeted way,” said Tom Freston, Viacom’s CEO. “This deal fits in perfectly with our strategy to deliver the best content to our audiences—wherever they are. We’re very happy to be working with Google, a true innovator in content distribution.”

In December 2007, companies including Viacom and News Corp were negotiating about creating a rival video website to YouTube but Viacom later pulled out of the discussions.