Wow, quite a number of articles on YouTube, Google, and the News Corp and NBC alliance plus the Viacom lawsuit that it looks to me like the vultures are circling over YouTube's non-user generated content or what is affectionately called copyrighted material. Seriously, it might be too late for GoogTube to even go back to the negotiating table with the legal content owners to cut a deal (not really, but written for effect). Sure YouTube will be there for user generated content and free hosting of videos, but once the professional content and clips move elsewhere, so will the traffic. As far as I can tell, 7 out of the top 10 most viewed videos this week are professional clips, so what will draw people to YouTube - crappy home videos? Here's a few of my favorite reasons for GoogTube to be worried about the vultures flying over head:
- The News Corp and NBC alliance is smart because it gives advertisers an alternative and hopefully if they execute it right, a win-win for advertisers and publishers. Plus, according to the article, they will feed Yahoo the content and thus tap into Yahoo's audience.
- Partnering with Yahoo is not only good for the new alliance, it also helps Yahoo with their battle versus Google for advertising dominance. And, you thought Yahoo was left for the dead?
- According to AdAge several big time advertisers are lining up to sign up with the new alliance.
- Google is even taking the new alliance seriously by offering to become a distribution partner for it according to the WSJ article called NBC, News Corp Plan Online Video Venture. BTW - Google is smart enough to look at all ways to monetize traffic and it is completely within their play book to work both sides of an advertising deal.
- I really think that GoogTube will have a tough time with the Viacom lawsuit because these guys are really serious about protecting the content which they created and have every right to determine how much they should be paid for it.
- Finally, go read for yourself about the DMCA safe harbor code and make your own judgments of how much trouble GoogTube is in and stop listening to people who haven't actually read the law. My favorite part is towards the end when it defines what a service provider is - judge for yourself whether that is supposed to be your online service provider or a website; try not to talk yourself into believing that the lawmakers didn't know the difference between say Earthlink and Yahoo back in 1998.
I actually don't jump for joy over this because I am a huge fan of Google. I just think we should all stand up for the rights of the content creators who paid to produce what you watch online. Why should GoogTube determine how much they should get paid for their hard work? This definitely won't be easy for GoogTube, but who knows they may still wind up dominating the entire online advertising industry anyway, right?