Friday, October 19, 2007

Daily Show for free on the Web

From SiliconValley:

"Media giant Viacom is suing YouTube, but it's also taking lessons from the online video service.

In the ongoing quest to make Internet popularity pay, Viacom's Comedy Central channel will today unveil a Web site for "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" that's designed to satisfy the most avid fans of the mock-news show with oceans of free video clips.

Rather than providing just a sampling of the program's fare, as Viacom and other TV networks have done for years, Comedy Central is offering the works: about 13,000 video clips representing every minute of the show since its 1999 inception.

The database is searchable by both date and topic, making it a potential bonanza for students of American pop culture...

Although YouTube is a foe in the legal battle, it was a catalyst for the launch of the new Viacom site. Paul Beddoe-Stephens, vice president for digital media at Comedy Central, said he had been dreaming about such a project since "The Daily Show" started.

But without YouTube, he said, Viacom might not have recognized the true value of the archives and dragged its feet in digitally archiving and "tagging" the clips with topic and date references.

That job fell to a team of 16 Comedy Central writers and video encoders who have worked two shifts a day on the project since June to make today's deadline. Beddoe-Stephens said it was important to do the work in-house so that the tags be consistent and the brief descriptors accompanying the clips be written in a style reflecting the show's irreverent attitude."

Good move Viacom.

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