NBC says that it first noticed YouTube when a pirated clip of Saturday Night Live's Lazy Sunday video appeared on YouTube's website. NBC didn't initially embrace the website, and ordered the video removed from the website (YouTube complied). But rather than continuing to fight it, NBC is learning to take advantage of it because “they didn't like the piracy, but they sure liked the buzz.”
The television industry is beginning to recognize the internet's power to reach broad audiences and is learning to take advantage of the marketing potential. On Tuesday, NBC and YouTube announced a partnership. New mediums for content, like YouTube and Google Video, are new possibilities for enlarging audiences. Not only did the Lazy Sunday video get six million streams according to NBC, but run a search on YouTube for the video and you'll find lots of user generated videos based on the original, which have received hundreds of thousands of hits. NBC couldn't buy that kind of marketing for its programs, and content providers should be taking note. As we learned from Digital Media Conference earlier this week, the winners of the digital media game will be those who can give consumers what they want when they want it.