Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Viacom, Joost strike content licensing deal

Viacom pulls its content off of YouTube and gives it to Joost. Why? Because YouTube and Google are dragging their heels in paying producers of content their share of advertising revenue.

"It's unfortunate that Viacom will no longer be able to benefit from YouTube's passionate audience, which has helped to promote many of Viacom's shows. We have received a DMCA takedown request from Viacom, and we will comply with their request," said YouTube's statement.

James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research said, "On YouTube, if you watch a clip from The Colbert Report, you know he's going to say something funny tomorrow and you might then go watch it tomorrow on Comedy Central. You don't satisfy your urge by watching a two-minute clip. And I think Viacom knows that. They just want to be compensated for it. I don't think they are against it; they just want to make sure they have a cut".
An Army of "Think Tanks"

First of all; let's ask ourselves how an analyst can weigh in on programming matters like this. There are "think-tanks" out there dealing with new media issues. The notion that the landscape of new media is "yet to be discovered", is a red herring. There are a ton of very intelligent people working on new business models for the new world of broadband broadcasting. Bill Gates has said that the impact will be made palpable in the next five years. Bill Gates is very smart and often gets it right. Let's agree on this point for context.

Viacom has a catalogue of material that it can exploit in a new medium where there is great demand for content. For an analyst to say "you don't satisfy your urge by watching a two-minute clip" makes me question his analytic skills. The internet is *all* about satisfying your "two-minute urges". The internet is the internet. Television is television. The internet is not a proxy for the TV. It is the internet. Advertising space is space that is sold independently and its distribution is vast and far-reaching on the internet without being highly regulated.

You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave

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