Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

More Live Video Coming to Facebook. Blame the Webbys!

Lots of smart people keep telling me that Facebook isn’t going to be a place to go watch Web video. Meanwhile, Facebook is either the second- or sixth-biggest Web video site in the U.S., and it keeps adding more moving pictures.

The most recent batch will show up tonight, when the social network hosts a live stream of the Webby Awards, starting at 8 pm Eastern.

Oddly enough, while the sort-of-tongue-in-cheek awards show is now in its 15th year, it hasn’t offered a live webcast before. Or at least not one that organizer David-Michel Davies can remember.

And while I like to give the Webbys a healthy dose of ribbing, some of you folks seem to like it, a lot: Davies says that last year’s show, cut up into clips and replayed on Google’s YouTube, generated 3 million views.

So have at it. The interesting back story here is that all of the heavy lifting for the video streaming is being done by Major League Baseball Advanced Media, which is shooting the show, hosting the stream and distributing it out to Facebook and other sites via its own video player. Oh, and they’re sending it out live to Apple’s iPads and iPhones via new apps, too.

MLBAM, which spends most of its time selling subscriptions to its MLB.TV service, has been trying recently to use that infrastructure to do more than stream baseball games. You might recall that earlier this year it started experimenting with streaming live pre-season baseball games to Facebook, too.

Meanwhile, the Webbys haven’t abandoned YouTube altogether, and the video site will run a livestream of the event, too. But instead of doing it on its main YouTube.com site, it will showcase its ability to run live streams within display ads, via spots it will run on “b2b” sites like Advertising Age.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald