If I had the Oscars or Viacom — both of whom pulled their clips off YouTube — here’s what I’d do to deal with — no, to exploit and profit from — the inevitable trend toward your audience promoting and distributing your content:
The first goal is to get the audience to pick and recommend your best stuff. That’s free promotion.
The second goal is to make money from advertising, either on the clips themselves or on the pages and videos people come to because they saw the clips.
So I’d work with YouTube et al on new Motionbox-like functionality (which I hear Bright Cove has, too) to enable viewers to pick out segments in the middle of video. And then I’d let them to post those segments on any of the sharing services that enable me to attach ads and make money. So say the Oscars are up at Oscars.com and you can watch them there — and earn the Academy and the network more ad revenue with every click. Say that you can snip and post any two minutes up on YouTube with a click of a mouse. If the clip is already there, it takes you there and registers that you’ve recommended the same thing as someone before you and lets you comment to join in the conversation around the clip (“Can you believe Ellen’s pantsuit?”); having just one version of the clip will lead to better conversation and community. The clip carries my advertising. The video services let me keep my revenue and they report stats to me on viewership. They also promote the clips: “Watch the most popular Oscar moments!” And when people discover those clips on YouTube, etc., they’re pushed back to Oscars.com to see the show — starting with where the clip left off. And I make money showing them advertising there.
What’s not to love? I get free promotion — from my customers! I get free hosting from the service. I get incremental ad revenue both on the clips and on my show. If I have obscure cable shows at odd hours with small audiences (cough! Viacom), I get new audience discovering me. I get branding.
See, that’s the way to exploit and enjoy what’s happening in video anyway. That’s the way to go with teh flow and find new cash flow. Sitting and whining and taking your marbles and going home doesn’t earn you new money and doesn’t endear you to your customers and doesn’t save you marketing money. It just makes you look like an old dolt. And remember: In the post-scarcity media economy, there’s always something else to watch.
That’s what I would do.
: MORE: Here’s what Mark Cuban would do: He’d flood YouTube with tiny clips to harass the viewers there. That’s one helluva way to treat your fans. Does he also serve warm beer at basketball games? Dave Winer suggests:
What if, instead, Viacom told YouTube that they could host clips from their shows, but reserved the hi-rez versions for themselves, and maybe they could have negotiated a link from the YouTube low-rez scan to the one served on their site. Anything would be better than the fractured world that’s being re-created now. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if users knew they just had to go to YouTube to find what they’re looking for, knowing that it would lead them to a purchasing experience if they want one.
It seems the entertainment industry doesn’t recognize the power of its users. They’re accustomed to dealing with artists and other companies, esp really large ones, but they haven’t learned how to negotiate with the users, and that’s who they have to deal with, if they want a future.
Let’s repeat that: “The entertainment industry doesn’t recognize the power of its users.” Amen, brother.
And Om Malik mocks them:
Instead of being glad that people (the same people who pay for their over the top lifestyles by watching movies) wanted to see some of the clips, The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences today asked YouTube to remove the clips.
Don’t they realize that these clips are like milk left on the counter top for too long, and will go sour soon? Don’t they realize that in this era when people are short on time, the three-hour overproduced crap that passes off as the Oscars broadcast is not needed?
Why blame the people for putting short clips on YouTube, and why take them down now? The question is why didn’t either the Academy or ABC offer the clips themselves – thus losing out on potential advertising dollars? Why not work with YouTube and give people what they want?