Best Buy, Amazon Pushing Video Visions

Best Buy launches a private video-sharing service, while Amazon offers videos with its top toys this holiday season.

Creating what amounts to a private version of video-sharing site YouTube, Best Buy is launching a video sharing service the week of Nov. 5. It differs from YouTube in that customers have a much smaller audience and that they have to pay.

In the reversal of age-old television advertising pricing models, Best Buy wants more money for delivering a much smaller audience. There's logic to it. Instead of consumers sharing their private videos with the world, they'll pay a few extra dollars—Best Buy wants $7 for 100 minutes of video hosting—to exclude anyone who is not on their list.

"With the growing popularity of video, fueled in part by social networking sites, we've actually seen an increase in customer demand for alternative video sharing solutions," said Kevin Winneroski, a vice president at Best Buy, based in Minneapolis, Minn. "Many customers, particularly families with children, don't want their personal memories available for anyone to see in the public domain, nor do they want to share them in a cluttered environment that includes advertising. Through Best Buy Video Sharing, customers can safely store their videos and share them only with the friends and family they choose."

The Best Buy deal is a partnership with video-streaming vendor Mydeo. Best Buy will take a minority, equity stake in Mydeo, the two companies said.

This program is being launched as just a consumer video-sharing service, a logical add-on to the Best Buy Digital Music Store and the Best Buy Photo Center. But it's not likely to end there, as the consumer-generated video movement is strong in E-Commerce.

Amazon Nov. 1 announced that for more than 450 of its top toys this holiday season, it will offer full videos. It's unclear whether the videos were produced by Amazon or the manufacturers of the products—although the guess is that it's the manufacturers, to start.

But the power of this video effort from Amazon will depend on the content as well as the continuing volume. Will these videos mostly be commercials, demos or candid reviews? Based on the initial few videos on the site—and not all links worked—they're commercials, and not especially informative ones at that.

Retail Center Editor Evan Schuman can be reached at

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