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RE: Make Way for Copyright Chaos - New York Times


RE: Make Way for Copyright Chaos - New York Times
by Rattle at 6:23 am EDT, Mar 19, 2007

"Recommendation is the new marketing."

"Will Viacom acquire a social framework for video assets or is YouTube going to acquire a library of content? That's the question."

No one source of video content will ever be THE social framework for video assets. Social frameworks exist independently of particular sets of video assets. Attempting to establish that sort of control is self defeating.

I strongly agree with this point.

The path of least resistance for the various content owners will be to take control of providing access to their video content. The tech end of this will work much the same way YouTube does. Meanwhile, they will find a way to encourage Google to keep their content from popping up on YouTube. (read: lawsuits)

YouTube is a service provider before it is a networking/recommendation site. Its networking/recommendation functions only pertain to content within it's system. That will have to change in order for it to really retain it's place in the long run.

Furthermore, I think GooTube will lose that position in the long run unless Google is doing some good background work right now. GooTube has several major problems. Almost all of them have to do with user experience. You can't download stuff from youtube and v-jay it effectively. You need clandestine browser plugins, and have to do it with something like VLC. It's not an obvious process. The ability to do engage in many uses of the content extend outside the experience these sites provide the users themselves. It will not stay this way.

Take note of this article:

The knock against Viacom, of course, is that it's too old-media to understand the Web. "Think about all the ways that they could have monetized the tremendous youth-brand equity and youth audience they collected," Chanko said. "All of their people are using instant messaging. They didn't have the technology to develop it on their own, but why didn't they think about branding a third-party system?"

Trying to buck that perception, Salmi has championed several tech projects at the media giant. He sponsored the idea of offering the so-called embed code that allows fans of popular programs to post clips to their MySpace pages or blogs. The concept is similar to YouTube's own tools for embedding videos on other sites.

ComedyCentral is doing this. I expect more channels to start doing this. In this way, they will be able to still wrapper the content with ads and whatnot, so they can still get revenue from providing the content.

I expect it to get interesting when real fair use arguments start to find their way to center stage. Not posting of whole programs or clips, but creative transformative uses. Uses like parody and comment.

Now, the other issue the content providers have...

"There was never any strategy at Viacom that said, 'We don't want people to watch our videos (at YouTube),'" Salmi said. "We want to be a distributor. We have distribution deals with iTunes and Comcast and recently we did a deal with (online video company) Joost. We didn't want to do it all ourselves. But if someone is actually making money on our content we tell them that, 'If you want to distribute our content we should have a deal with you.' If it's a professional relationship, then there should be a business deal.

"We just couldn't come to an agreement with YouTube," he added. "But we certainly want to be there."

And it is true irony that Viacom, the owner of MTV, is the one drawing the line in the sand.

I was speaking with the VP of Marketing for Universal Records recently. I asked him a number of questions about where Universal stood on digital downloads of content, in particular, music videos. The direction his answers went in was the history of MTV, and the labels approach to it.

MTV was seen as a great thing by the labels when it hit the scene. The labels provided the videos, and MTV aired them. (The money to make videos is usually split down the middle between the artist and the label. The label fronts the money, and the artist must recoup half of it against their future sales.) It was a great promotional tool for all. Videos sold records.

However, MTV turned into "a monster".. Within short time it became a multi-billion dollar business -- that didn't pay for any of it's content -- by laing advertising down on top of it. MTV quickly became the most powerful force in the industry. Currently, the labels (and other content providers) are treating GooTube the same way as they treated MTV. They are seeing it as a great promotional tool, and putting up all kinds of content. The execs are seeing this and going "we can't create this monster again".

Even if you look at it from just the perspective of music videos, GooTube presents many of the changes in the landscape created by the Internet. Users today want more control over the information intake. They want to determine the sources recommending them videos. They are used to iTunes playlists and recommendation sites. They also like to own copies of the content they like. They like to time-shift the content they take in, so they can take it in when they want to rather than when a program director wants them to. They are more than happy to resort to piracy to get what they want. They like to share this content with their friends, so their friends know what they are into.

And on top of it all, MTV doesn't play videos anymore. :) If you like watching videos, you better be into country music or something. There are not really any TV channels that play anything I'm into. I think most people find themselves in my position in that regard. There are more people that don't have a msm source that caters to their specific tastes. The resulting fragmentation is bad for the major content providers until the point they can harness it.

I'll probably chime back in on this thread.. There is much left to be said..

RE: Make Way for Copyright Chaos - New York Times

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