Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Oscar’s YouTube No-Show

robert-pattison-oscarsLooking for highlights of last night’s Oscars on YouTube? Good luck.

That’s because ABC, which broadcast last night’s show, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which produces the event, don’t want clips of last night’s show on the world’s biggest video site. Instead, they’d prefer that you watch highlights on ABC’s Oscar.com site.

I understand the thinking. After all, Disney’s (DIS) ABC supposedly commands crazily high ad rates for Oscar.com. I’m told that last year, ABC could charge advertisers more than $70 for every thousand eyeballs that visited the site–at least double what other big media sites can command on the Web.

Still, you’d think that ABC, the Academy and Google’s (GOOG) video site could figure out a way to get visitors at least a taste of what happened last night via YouTube, and then eventually direct those eyeballs to the official site.

But if you look for “Oscar” on YouTube this morning, you’ll get a series of official ABC/Oscar-endorsed highlights from last year’s show at the top of the search results. And if you look deeper than that, you’ll find grainy, shaky footage from YouTube uploaders who recorded clips of last night’s show on camcorders.

That’s a Fail, as the Web folks like to say. YouTube users don’t get what they want, and ABC and the Academy don’t give them a compelling reason to come to the official site.

Then again, maybe YouTube users don’t really care about the Oscars that much–unless it gives them a chance to see one of their favorites stars walking or talking.  Video tracking service TubeMogul says that unofficial Oscar clips have generated  470,000 views on YouTube since last night–and that unofficial clips of “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson’s appearance on the show generated another 300,000 views.

Don’t know who Robert Pattinson is? I’m in the same boat. But he’s what the kids are into these days.

And here’s my favorite highlight from last night’s show, which I can’t find on either YouTube or Oscar.com: Seth Rogen and James Franco reprising their roles from last summer’s “Pineapple Express”; thanks to FirstShowing.net for this one.


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”