Big Brother Weekend part 2: social video- and photo sharing site sevenload have teamed up with Netherlands entertainment giant Endemol to exclusively represent series eight of the German version of television show Big Brother on the web.
Sevenload will host the casting of the show – if you are no couch potatoe: Big Brother is a rather cynical and exhibitionistic/voyeuristic reinterpretation of George Orwell’s dystopian vision; canditates live in a container and their life is broadcasted 24/7 on paid TV with a daily best-of summary in free TV, they have to perform little challenges and after 6 months or so the winner gets 250.000 Euro – and they already provide the forum. Their goal is to inject aspects of Web 2.0 into mainstream television:
We will see cooperations like this more often on sevenload in the future. We want to present this critically acclaimed and high quality format in a different way to the Web 2.0 community – hence the first thing to do is the call for online casting. Content presented on the coming website for Big Brother will focus on the interactions between users, the result will be an improved experience for everyone.
This is a significant move for a video sharing site in Germany since the market is still very much up to grabs. Based on Alexa YouTube is the most popular site by far (traffic rank in Germany: 4) followed by MyVideo (traffic rank: 20), Clipfish (101), Dailymotion (122) and Sevenload (149), but there is no dominant national player which commonly gets associated with video sharing. MyVideo is owned by Pro7Sat.1 media group, Clipfish is backed by RTL and both sites get a lot of traffic from cross promotional activities and since YouTube and Dailymotion are mainly used for consuming content Sevenload was in a good position to organically create a momentum with a healthy mix of producers and networked consumers.
But I think they have been making a few unfortunate decisions lately. The frontpage looks more and more like a boulevard magazine, they are heavily promoting channels of content partners and semi-professional producers who wouldn’t make it in the wild, they run pretty annoying post roll ads and this cooperation with Endemol has some implicit risks:
They lose their innocence. Until now they liked to present themselves as rather altruistic and maezenas of yet to be discovered talent. A joint venture with a cash cow which takes the money out of the pockets of twelve year olds who vote for their favorites won’t help them improve this perception.
They flood sevenload with arbitrary users who don’t add value to the platform. Without doubt many people will sign up to particitpate in the forums or to discuss exclusive footage, but sites which leverage the social are filigrane systems and a balanced mix of its members is its core asset which might be disturbed by attracting random users who only add noise.
(This article originally was written for blognation Germany. Since blognation is gone I have reposted it here)