Verizon and Comcast have announced divergent approaches to user-created video.
Unlike the movies that Sprint is trying to shove down the pipe, mobile YouTube makes a lot of sense. Watching a few YouTube clips is a fun, easy way to kill a few minutes.
Comcast has a beta of a new service called Ziddio that allows users to upload clips, which if they’re good enough, Comcast will put on their Video On Demand service for viewing on a TV.
Oddly, the video that welcomes you to the site looks like a screen grab from YouTube. Too bad that’s the only evidence of YouTube. Most of what makes YouTube successful is missing: search box, on-target recommendations of related videos, user comments, video embedding. I was trying to link to the welcome video, but I couldn’t find a way to do it. I even tried the send to a friend link hoping I could see a URL I could paste in. No luck. They just want your friend’s email.
And then there’s the little matter of the millions of videos already on YouTube. If you really want to see the Ziddio welcome video, go and click on just about any category. The Welcome video is the only thing available.
There is the possibility that Comcast will come up with a compelling 10-foot interface that will make it all better. Given what I’ve seen of Comcast’s On Demand interface, I wouldn’t count on it. The UI is slow, cumbersome and often feels like it has locked up. Remember Windows 3.1?
It’s more likely that someone will come up with a compelling YouTube viewer for Tivo.