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Thursday, April 26, 2007
New Sony Service Challenges Youtube

Sony said on Thursday it will launch a video-sharing site on Friday, making the electronics and entertainment conglomerate the latest challenger to Google's YouTube service.

News Corp. and NBC Universal said last month they would also launch a free online video site this year, as traditional media firms scramble to keep up with video sharing.

Sony also hopes to introduce its service, called eyeVio, abroad, but said it first wanted to gauge the reception at home before drawing up an overseas launch schedule.

"This is part of Sony's quiet software revolution," CEO Howard Stringer said at a news conference.

"It's an opportunity to transmit user-generated video anywhere you want to, anytime to anybody, in a protected environment," Stringer said.

Unlike YouTube, which has drawn criticism that it tolerates user piracy and faces a $1 billion lawsuit from Viacom alleging copyright violation, Sony said it would closely monitor content on the service.

Users will also be able to select who can view their content, and for how long.

The site will be free to users, but Sony hoped it would eventually generate revenue through advertisements and tie-ups with media companies.

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