YouTube headed for Good Morning America

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CrunchGear This Week

YouTube announced this morning that the site would host an online “battle of the bands” with user voted winners appearing on Good Morning America and as Cingular ring tones. Good grief, how schmarmy can you get?

On the heels of the far more interesting Warner deal, today’s announcement seems to further validate the belief that monetizing their huge userbase was only a matter of time for the company.

A previous deal with NBC landed the tubers on Jay Leno this weekend, though the financial arrangement was not disclosed in the segment and the grass roots authenticity of the “videos we found on YouTube” was questionable. Next thing you know the Uncle Sam will put “this is your brain on drugs” clips on YouTube – wait, that already happened.

Can YouTube keep its edge once it’s become the new home for stylistically antiquated music promotions tied in with mainstream TV and cell phone ring tones? The YouTube user community didn’t seem to respond well to Paris Hilton. As YouTube is gentrified, where will the next hip, low rent neighborhood for viral video emerge? There doesn’t seem to be any particularly compelling competitors, though last night’s Yahoo! partnership with Current.tv could be interesting and Revver is probably trying the hardest so far among the startups.

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