Commentary

You Decide ... Sort of

  • by , March 4, 2007

I love YouTube for all the wrong reasons.

First of all, I love how a website that allows users to upload their own content causes media creation outlets to lose their sh**. They freak out because, for some reason, they feel that people across America and around the world will completely lose interest in watching the stuff they pay WAY more money to create. They're only partly right.

But when it comes to the big networks and production houses, what REALLY grinds their gears (for those of you that got the Family Guy joke there, I'm glad you're reading) is when they see THEIR content show up on YouTube. Where I tend to get confused is why people who compete for ratings and share points get pissed when MORE people see their content.

But this is why I'm not a marketing major. What I DO find interesting is how YouTube has cordoned off all election video uploads into one YouTube sanctioned category, entitled "You Choose '08."

The idea here is to show viewers which videos are real and which ones are not authentic.

I find this insulting. Am I really going to accept an SNL skit as legitimate political discourse, confusing it with an actual video uploaded by some intern from the Clinton, McCain, Obama, or other camp?

Please. I think, if anything, the "choice" is somewhat removed.

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5 comments about "You Decide ... Sort of".
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  1. George Hayes from GTH Consulting, March 12, 2007 at 6:20 p.m.

    Sean, Thanks for sharing these thoughts. Marketers are obsessed with making sure their brands are "authentic" these days. I'm intrigued by the fact that you find it demeaning to be told what is authentic. If I assume you feel this way about any sort of marketing (not just political marketing), this says to me that a brand must BE authentic, it can't just claim to be.

  2. Jeff Beliveau, March 12, 2007 at 6:38 p.m.

    Hi Sean,

    They are "freaking out" not because of "lost business". They are concerned because it is THEIR property.

    It's not up to you or me, or some other YouTube poster to determine what they should do with their stuff.

  3. Leonard Novick, March 13, 2007 at 5:12 a.m.

    The large media companies have learned very little from their music industry forebearers. Check out

    http://constantchange.typepad.com/constant_change/2007/03/media_companies.html

    for a recent article on the three failing strategies media companies are employing so far when it comes to YouTube.

  4. Trevor Sumner, March 13, 2007 at 6:02 a.m.

    Because they don't get paid for the advertising. If everyone watched Grey's Anatomy on YouTube, the networks would make nothing.

    This is why the ad sharing model is crucial, but of course the networks aren't excited about sharing 30%-50% of ad revenue.

  5. Josh, March 13, 2007 at 12:03 p.m.

    Trevor,

    Nor would networks be too crazy about the idea of performance marketing. Right now they get massive amounts of money based off rating points, regardless of whether viewers are even in the room or talking over the commercials playing.

    A CPC model (which would be almost a requirement for advertisers on internet video I'd think) is quite unattractive from TV's perspective methinks.

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