Today Sony will launch a video-sharing service called EyeVio to compete with Google’s YouTube.
Initially, EyeVio will only be available in Japan, but Sony plans to roll out this service worldwide according to its homeland success.
EyeVio will divide videos into two distinct categories: private, which only friends can view; and public, available for anyone to see.
Users will be able to post videos to the site from their computer or mobile phone, but there is an upload limit of 150MB per file.
For now Sony plans to keep this video-sharing service free, and hopes to generate revenue through advertising and media tie-ins.
In light of YouTube’s recent US$1bn lawsuit from Viacom, in which the Google-owned service was charged with hosting over 160,000 Viacom video clips without authorization, which resulted in more than 1.4 billion views, Sony plans to closely monitor the content of its site.
At a press conference in Japan, Sony’s CEO Howard Stringer said this new service is part of “Sony’s quiet software revolution”.
Sony is not the only media company looking to break YouTube’s monopoly on video sharing. Fox and NBC announced last month that they were teaming up to form an online video portal that is hoped to launch this summer.
Unlike YouTube or EyeVio, the portal will not be based on any one site; it will be distributed through partners MySpace, Yahoo!, MSN and AOL.
By Marie Boran