Friday, December 17, 2010, 11:20 AM ET|Posted by Will RichmondI'm still scratching my head a little over this week's report that YouTube may be looking to acquire independent video network/developer Next New Networks. An acquisition of Next New Networks would mean that YouTube would no longer be solely a platform for indie video, but a producer as well. So the first question is why, after so many assertions by Google executives that it is "not a media company" has it decided that in fact it now wants to be a media company? Does Google feel that indie content is underfunded and developing too slowly, hence the need to bring its massive resources to bear? Maybe so.
But data just this week from the company, disclosing its 2010 top videos viewed seems to suggest that indie creativity is bubbling along just fine. The top two videos were actually Next New productions, and the company blogged a must-read post about how it achieved this success. Maybe YouTube feels it can turbo-charge indie content, and this is strategic to help support its Google TV efforts since it's getting stiff-armed by major broadcasters. If the deal is done (and doesn't end up as another Groupon non-deal) it will be interesting to learn how Google/YouTube explains it.