That Viacom is suing GooTube for $1bn is old news – a great opening shot in the negotiating battle to come, but old news.
The thing I don’t get is, why would Viacom bother? One of the podcasts I listen to is Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code. On each episode, he plays (at least) a couple of podsafe music tracks – independently produced music, which often puts “mainstream” artists to shame – and pretty consistently, the artists who have had their tracks played send some feedback to Adam along the lines that after being played they’ve seen an increase in sales of their music.
Robert Scoble recently reported:
To watch my videos you used to have to go to PodTech. Then in January we let go a little bit of our controlling attitude and made a player that you can embed on your own site. What happened?
Read that last bit again – “Traffic tripled“.
A paradoxical, golfing maxim goes something like, “to gain control, you have to give up control”. Which brings me back to my opening question: why would Viacom bother suing YouTube?
If I hear a great tune on the Daily Source Code, I’m driven to go and buy it; if I hear enough good stuff from that artist, I might buy/purchase/spend my hard-earned cash on more material. If I’m browsing YouTube and see one clip that makes me laugh, I might look for another clip featuring that same comedian; and then another. If I see enough funny material from one show, guess what? I might actually tune in to the entire show on TV week after week.
YouTube gets a lot of eyeballs. Somewhere along the line, that must translate into increased viewing figures of the full-length versions of the very clips that Viacom is looking to have removed. I don’t work in the media business so this might be stupid question; increased viewing figures is a good thing, right?
So, why strangle a potential revenue stream?
[tags]Google, YouTube, Viacom, copyright, lawsuit[/tags]