Sony Pictures, a portion of the conglomerate we all know as Sony, acquired a video-sharing website last year. Grouper, as it was called, was more or less a YouTube clone trying to put on a professional skin. Higher-quality content through stricter control, that is. The merits of control giving better content aside, Sony has decided to rename and rethink the site, now dubbing it “Crackle”.
They claim the name change will help it stand out among others, giving advertisers more incentive. On top of that, they think that online video will move towards a professionally produced market, rather than the largely amateur one we see today. Is that true, however? The Internet currently is thriving on mass content from amateurs around the world, and the success of sights like YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, Facebook and a myriad of others depends on that. Regardless, that's their aim:
"The evolution of online video will bring viewers more professionally produced material," said Sean Carey, senior executive vice president of Sony Pictures. "Crackle will provide this next wave of creative talent a forum that will give them the exposure and recognition they seek and deserve."
The PS3 launch debacle, discontinuing of models only months old, phenomenally strange behavior of their upper level management in the spotlight and a horde of other things – all signs that Sony is struggling in the market today. Is “Crackle” a bad decision as well? Taking on YouTube, especially now, is probably not smart. They may claim that isn't their goal, but in such a young market how can you really know what the market will want down the road?