now. i understand there’s some jealousy going on with both of these guys, so, i really do take it with a grain of salt. mark is a one-trick pony (anybody even heard of ice rocket? oh, it totally works better than google. watch! ps3 on ice rocket. ps3 on google. yeah, no jealousy there!) and om malik is always a bridesmaid and never a bride. he talks a good game, but, when it comes to put up or shut up, well. he shuts up. (ask him about his vc days.)
that being said, i (obviously) completely disagree with both of them. basically, their arguments come down to “google is going to be sued out of existence due to copyright infringement.”
google and youtube’s last minute flurry of offline media deals to buffet this kind of bad press are a huge indicator of where they are going. they are buying the youtube eyeballs. they need the brand — permanantly. as in, not a “strategic partnership” that can fall apart. in fact, i wouldn’t be surprised if this was a direct result of seth godin’s advice.
and honestly, who out there doesn’t think youtube isn’t going to be serving up copyrighted video legally? nobody? good.
now, who thinks they’re going to be in trouble with serving up the video direct instead of streaming it? apparently, everyone but me.
why? 1 simple word. convenience.
that’s how youtube got to be where they are. it’s convenient. they work awfully damn hard on making it easy to share their content. awfully damn hard on making it easy to access their content.
seriously, what’s the flash install base vs. the quicktime install base? it’s easy and reliable.
how is that good? because, it’s easy to find/share/point to. with commercials embedded in the video, the sheer ease-of-use and ubiquity (seen all the video re-posting blogs lately?) of pushing it around is enough to overcome any “pirating” going on.
let’s say you do pirate (spend a couple hours to capture and cut out the commercials and re-encode and repost a 10 minute video) one of the videos. let’s say, rather than just keep it to yourself, you decide to share it.
who wants to serve, point to or share video from some server that will crash from load? or from some server that might disappear? (since, once you share it by reposting it, it’s your content too now.) or repost something that might get you sued? when you can freely and easily post the same video with commercials? and get paid?
the big media sees the network effect in action. they’ve been sitting on the sidelines as stewart and colbert and clinton and hundreds of other little clips of content rocket to success. they’ve seen the jump in their own traffic due to it. they’ve seen the success of their ads based on that jump. it’s time for them, rather than try to stem the flow, to ride it.
old, yes. stodgy, yes. slow, yes. stupid, no.
one last thing — dynamic commercials. you guys knew that google has been already working on these right? what kind of crazy, flocking gold mine do you think it’s going to be when all those youtubers are making a nickel a view? poof! one episode of abbe dancing the news is $10k.
that right there is budget and incentive to make more content.
it’s about sharing the video. which is about brand. which is about a robust delivery system. which is about dynamically cutting in ads. which is about revenue sharing. which is about sharing the video….