Sonic has gone in the for the kill in terms of advertising around this content:
“If you are a brand that wishes to be associated with a key issue such as Global
Warming, friction.tv is the place where your ownership of the issue will be
cemented. If your company wants to spark a debate then create your own video –
it doesn’t just have to be individuals who can take the floor.
With nine channels to choose from (and more to come) advertisers can target ads to relevant content and can even sponsor the media player by channel. These will extend to debates on regional issues as well, opening up regional targeting opportunities.”
I’ve yet to see any video content where people have sent in a video response and in the main, users have so far been sending in the easy to produce written responses.
Without the need for registration, all comments are posted anonymously. Does this anonymity lessen the impact I wonder? How can people make a name for themselves within the community? What if I’m impressed by someone’s comments and want to read more of their posts?
So why is this site worth watching? It seems Sonic understands that a user generated content site with a theme (think of a Snowboarding magazine or site dedicated to video gaming) can be a stronger proposition than one with a wider remit.
YouTube’s got the first mover advantage, but imagine the potential for hobby and interest led magazines once they start offering UGC / video messageboards. Will a World of Warcraft fan (notice I didn’t say geek) want their video rant to be seen by huge but ‘irrelevant’ audiences on YouTube, or will they see more value in their video being hosted within a dedicated portal for WoW fans? Imagine the value of your peers, within a dedicated and tailored community, agreeing or even championing your comments. It’s obvious stuff – it’s been happening for years with forums. Look at how music fans always opt for NME.com messageboards over a Yahoo or MSN music themed messageboard.
Friction TV may be designed for adults who want to engage in debate rather than see skateboarding accidents, but even the slightest hint of offering a narrow / niche UGC platform has got me exicted about the future of e-magazines and publishers. Can pairing UGC with long tail folksonomies actually generate cash?