AOL’s attempt to imitate the success of YouTube will be getting flushed down the Tubes in mid-December. AOL Video Uploads (previously known as “UnCut Video”). This is another online destination that AOL has successfully laid to rest.
Although, I’ll admit that the site itself had a shameful amount of page views. The AOL Video Uploads product team deserves to have their product shuttered after all, they poorly marketed their product, poorly supported users and didn’t editorially manage their programming portal in an intuitive way.
In an e-mail sent to AOL users, AOL provided 30 days notice that videos will be removed or optionally migrated to a third-party. (Naturally, they don’t offer an option to migrate to YouTube or download AVIs of your videos.)
From: AOLMemberInfo <[email protected]>
Sent: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 1:48 am
Subject: AOL Video Uploads to Close on Dec. 18, 2008
Dear AOL Video Uploads User,
We’re writing to inform you that the AOL Video Uploads site is no longer accepting new video uploads and will close on Dec. 18, 2008. We hope that this does not cause you an inconvenience.
The good news is that we can help you move your existing videos to Motionbox in a few, simple clicks. Motionbox is a free service that makes it easy to upload, store and share personal videos, and supports all of the features you enjoy with AOL Video Uploads — including fast and reliable uploads, secure sharing, high quality video playback and more. To transfer your videos to Motionbox, all you need to do is click on the “transfer” button next to each video on the My Uploads page and follow the instructions.
If you want to download, delete or transfer your files to Motionbox or another site, you must go to the My Uploads page to take action before December 18, 2008. After that date, you will no longer be able to access your videos through the AOL Video Uploads site (also know as uncutvideo.com).
For more details please see our FAQs.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we make this transition.
AOL Video Uploads Team
I firmly believe AOL could have salvaged UCV/AVU by promoting content to the Welcome Screen, engaging users into video upload contests and working with their sister brand, then-Netscape, now-Propeller. AOL could have also grew market share by employing human editors to editorialize content around the clock — something that YouTube doesn’t have, an editorial driven portal.
From personal experience, the PdMs are very possessive with their lacking page views. I’ve once removed an offensive video (of which, violated AOL’s TOS and generated complaints from users)… minutes later, I had a phone call demanding why a video which produced 40% of their page views was removed. Sorry guys, if one video accounts for more than 5% of the traffic, especially one that includes gratuitous nudity on AOL, then you’ve failed. And yes, it was a spammer who uploaded it.
While I don’t care for editorial-driven portals, it’s evident that AOL users enjoy having news and video spoon-fed to them. I have no idea why AOL Video Uploads didn’t exploit this further. While this portal will be closing, one can only hope that these folks find a new position in a place that they love. The team is actually talented, but the business lobotomized them; they ought to all collaborate on the next big long-tail video product and go big with it when they get their navy-blue folders.