Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Another Trailer Site? Sure: Metacafe Launches a Trailer Park.

How do you survive in online video if you don’t have YouTube’s scale or Hulu’s content? Find a specialty.

That has been Metacafe’s strategy for some time now. Rather than try to offer a smaller version of YouTube, the video site has increasingly been trying to focus on a few key categories. Today, it’s launching Metacafe Movies, which doesn’t promise to show actual movies, but trailers and related clips.

Aren’t there plenty of trailer sites? Sure. But Metacafe promises that its will be deeper and better organized than the competition; CEO Erick Hachenburg imagines something closer to a video-focused IMDB.

Of course, IMDB should be the video-focused IMDB. But for whatever reason–perhaps because Amazon (AMZN), which owns the site, has other priorities–the Web’s dominant movie resource has little in the way of clips. Maybe that will change if Metacafe has success.

Following Google’s (GOOG) acquisition of YouTube in 2006, Metacafe came close to a deal with Yahoo (YHOO), but never got it done. Interesting to imagine what would have happened had Jerry Yang and company pushed hard into video a few years ago.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work