Bebo (not a Latino boy band), is the number one social network in the UK and third in the U.S. Today they officially became a bigger player in the online social openness sweepstakes (first prize, as you know is a Cadillac El Dorado).
The San Francisco-based company this morning announced “Open Media,” a new platform that will enable media outlets to distribute premium music and video content to Bebo’s 40 million users. So what’s the catch? Apparently, none to be found for anyone so far. The content partners so far, which include the likes of CBS, BBC, Yahoo!, Ustream, Crackle and more, will not charge users for their content (or be charged by Bebo for distributing it), nor do they have to share any ad revenue with Bebo. There’s also no tricky advertising parameters, so companies essentially have free reign to market their content any way they want.
The Beboers in turn will virally distribute that content to their friends. They’ll also be matched up with other folks who consume similar content. To aid in this media consumption extravaganza, Bebo has also introduced today “Personal Video Profiles,” which will allow users to control their music and video in a customizable environment separate from their regular Bebo profiles.
This a smart thing Bebo did. They’re huge in the UK, but stateside their relevance is dwarfed by Facebook and MySpace. Their demographic is in the 13-24 range, which is perfect for Open Media. They snagged the No. 1 networks in the U.S. and UK (CBS and BBC), which means we’ll soon be able to sample all the dead hooker dramas CBS has to offer, and hopefully some classic BBC britcoms to make our social networking fruitfulness extend beyond super-poking our co-workers on Facebook all day.
You can read Bebo’s press release here.