It’s the end of the YouTube as we know it…unless it’s not…either way I’m fine

Seems that NBC Universal is the latest big media company to demand that its content be pulled from YouTube. That comes as an expansion of the deal between it and CBS seems to have hit a snag and just a couple weeks after Viacom demanded the site take down all of its videos. Viacom, for its part, has signed a deal with Joost, a deal that includes Viacom getting a cut of the advertising revenue from the videos. Here’s my favorite part:

The basic idea behind Joost is to get as close to possible to replicating the television viewing experience on a personal computer.

Is this really what consumers are looking for? Personally I think internet video, if it’s really going to add value to the viewer experience, needs to be more than a simple repurposing of TV material. Think beyond this to videos that are really going to attract an audience. TV can be viewed on TV. If you’re looking for new ways to get TV content to people, then let’s rethink TV, not make the same mistakes on the internets.

That being said, it can be useful for companies to have their own, approved outlets for online video. It can help build brand loyalty, provide for copyright control and allow marketers to collect useful data on the users who watch it. But it would be best to find a strategy that allows for both corporate control and the ceding of some control to users.

If companies decide that the hording of control is more important and continue to pull their material from venues where it’s the user that’s in charge it simply means there’s more exposure to by gained by non-professionally produced material. Users will not abandon their favorite sites because a media conglomerate has decided to work against and not with the community. It just means they’ll continue to use it and not be exposed to the professional stuff.

Of course all these moves could, as some have suggested, be bluffs and maneuvers as companies negotiate business deals with YouTube, in which case the content will be back but with ads or some such. It’s important for all companies to figure how best to utilize online video in a way that makes sense for them. But don’t forget that a lot of people are out there spreading the word for you on these sites, efforts that mean extra exposure for you at little to no cost. Don’t get in the way of them doing so.

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