Michael Lynton, can we talk? You may hope that you can manage your online-video issues by relocating the staff of Crackle.com, the money-losing startup you acquired for Sony in 2006, from Sausalito to Culver City. I'm sure with your experience at AOL and at Hollywood, you're confident enough to believe it's a business you can handle. But the real first step is admitting that you have a problem. We know all the cool kids were doing it when you purchased the site, then known as Grouper, for $65 million, but the $100 million you are rumored to have spent on satisfying your bandwidth cravings and making new employee and content-producer "friends" just shows how far you've sunk toward rock bottom. I can't imagine mainlining another 10-gigabit connection at a new San Diego datacenter will help. The good news, Michael, is that you're not alone. Eric Schmidt's YouTube habit has proven unmanageable as well. The note from a laid-off employee after the jump may feel like tough love, Michael, but think of it as an intervention from someone who cares.
TubeMogul, a startup which allows content creators to post video clips to multiple sites at once and track aggregate views for the clip across sites, did a survey of over 200,000 clips and how much traffic they garnered after 90 days. The results? The average clip got more views on YouTube in three months (3,092) than on the next eight video sites combined (2,092). [NewTeeVee]
Sony's $50-million mistake is reportedly relaunching as Crackle. Has-been video site Grouper, which Sony bought last August, launched a year before YouTube but never caught on as well; it's now one of several B-list video sites like the superior Vimeo and Blip.tv. Grouper will become Crackle, according to a tipster (who also points out that while Grouper claims over 20 million unique visitors a month, comScore counts under a million). Users can at least hope the site's new incarnation looks something like the trippy Crackle.com placeholder page. I'd ask the company for confirmation, but last time I did that, they flat-out lied.