Monday, December 22, 2008

Warner Brothers Re-Threatens YouTube

In 2006, Warner Brothers made a deal with fledgling video service, YouTube, which was hailed as a landmark agreement, paving the way for other companies. A Warner Brothers "channel" was created on the service. But now, Warner Brothers is asking for more money (go figure...) and has decided to change the arrangement.

While the Warner Brothers channel is still live as of this writing, if YouTube caves to their demands, it could spell trouble: YouTube has similar deals with music publishers Universal Music, Sony, and EMI, and if Warner Brothers has their way, we all know the rest of them will want more money, too. Thousands of videos could be pulled.

Warner Brothers' agreement was to receive ad revenue from the videos watched, which amounts to fractions of a penny per viewing - basically the same deal we publishers get with Google AdSense (Google owns YouTube) - I honestly feel their pain! Warner Brothers called the share "staggeringly low."

Google countered Warner Brothers' renegotiations with the very Google statement, "...you may notice videos that contain music owned by Warner Music Group being blocked from the site."

I am elated! Finally, we independent webmasters (publishers in our own right) may get a chance to be heard, as Google is treating large publishers the same way and those larger publishers are fighting back. While we are too small - and far, far too poor - to fight Google on any grounds, these larger publishing firms most certainly are not.

While Google has monopolized the Web these last few years, its main function remains that of a search engine. If larger publishers begin pulling their content from Google, we smaller publishers may join the fight! What will Google be without any content? Considering it owns the search engine, YouTube, and Blogger (to name just a few of its many, disparate holdings)... not much.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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