YouTube + Time Video Marriage =  Clever

Time Inc just announced YouTube will be the tech backbone for Time’s new responsive video ad unit dubbed “Adapt.”

While the name Adapt may earn Time some trademark infringement from Adapt.TV, the move itself is quite clever on the part of the old, tech laggard Time Inc.

Why?

Tech laggards typically take forever to discover they’re behind.  They also think they can catch up.

Then after years, they realize that smarter, faster tech companies will always out-talent them, out-pace them…and they will never catch up/match up.

At one point, there was a strategy meeting for Time.com and all its publishing sites that went something like this:

  • We can make more money with video content
  • Video = higher CPMS, so more video = more revenue
  • Great, let’s do it
  • We will

And then, after the timeline has been missed and revenue numbers missed, somebody says:

  • “There’s no way we will be able to deliver video at scale like YouTube”
  • “Let’s just use the engineering backbone of YouTube, using Time content”
  • “Face it, we’ll never catch/match YouTube for scalability and engineering”
  • “Plus, advertisers can use DoubleClick to place their ads on the Time video content”

Now, enter Google.  It takes a revenue share from Time.

Time creates a unique, responsive video ad unit (with a largely ripped off trademark name).

YouTube, however, is doing something strategically clever.

As the war for video content and creators has begun between Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon…new revenue streams need to arrive.  With the Time marriage, it just arrived for YouTube.

By becoming the highway and plumbing for video content in addition to the content itself, YouTube has started to build a beach head against Amazon and Facebook.

Smart Google, very smart.

Smart Time, very smart.

Something old, something new, something grew.