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NBC, Just Use Youtube Already

SNL did a funny bit on Google Glass last night. I ran into it on the Verge, posted using NBC’s own video content distribution setup. I tried to play it, but it complained that I was running Adblock. Fair enough, that’s a legitimate complaint against me. So, I opened up another version of Chrome, opened up the extensions page, and just as I was about to toggle off Adblock, the video clip in the original browser starts playing the SNL bit. I switch back, hit the full screen button, and because I’ve got that screen standing vertically the unusual aspect ratio threw off the player for a while but it eventually played. Here it is (well, maybe):

Though realizing in retrospect it wasn’t worth the obstacles, I had myself a giggle, then looked at the comment thread on the Verge, and the majority …of the comments were people complaining that they couldn’t play the video, unavailable this, Flash that, one guy offering a link to a bootlegged copy on Youtube that I guess was crappy enough in quality to duck around Youtube’s auto-policing system to clear out copyright violations, but will probably be pulled soon (while more copies get posted, people recording their televisions with their phone, whatever it takes to help people avoid NBC’s crappy system).

I suspect this is the common reaction people have when running into things with NBC embeds and whatever Viacom networks use. They may have their reasons to justify this (probably along the lines of their Google TV snubbing campaign), but NBC, is it really worth it, to impose your buggy system on people rather than just using Youtube like everyone else?

Heck, even Microsoft uses Youtube to promote their stuff and even to bash Google. Why reinvent the wheel, especially if you can only seem to do it poorly? If you won’t use Youtube, can you at least improve your own system so that sites like ours and the Verge can post an SNL bit without a thread of comments bashing your video player ensuing? This is silly.

Doug Simmons