The buzz of the crowd

Do yourself a favor and go read this post by Alex Rowland on why youTube is beating the snot out of Revver. Alex argues that Revver’s differentiator is that people who upload videos there can make money in so doing, but that this doesn’t accurately reflect what’s really happening in the video upload space.

What is happening is that most people that upload videos (and I would argue blog and podcast) don’t give a shit about making money from their efforts (at least not directly). I think they believe (and they’re typically right), that the money would be so insignificant that it isn’t even a factor in their decision to publish or not. They might try to create a brand around themselves and leverage that into a contract with a major TV/movie publisher, but make money off the video directly… naaaah. Who cares, it’s pennies anyway. But the ability to upload my video quickly and see it immediately, that’s what I want. That was one of YouTube’s most brilliant innovations; the (almost) instant gratification of the upload. Add in the embed function, a little community and a little copyrighted content and BANG!, you’ve got MySpace growth. But the community was primarily interested in ego and reputation, not money.
I would add that this is why existing media companies can’t and don’t “get” something like youTube as a business. The Wall Street Journal reported today that — as referenced in Lost RemoteNBC and YouTube are close to finalizing an agreement in which NBC will buy ads on YouTube while the site will post clips of coming NBC shows provided by the network. This is from the network that forced youTube to cease using NBC clips uploaded “illegally” by the site’s users. It seems that the suits at NBC have figured out that youTube’s skyrocketing visitor trends make it a place where they feel they belong. I promise you NBC didn’t feel that way a few months ago.

And so it goes as media companies formerly known as mainstream try to figure out this Web 2.0 thing. When everything begins with “where’s the money,” nothing innovative comes out the other end.


  1. Thanks for the mention, Terry. The interesting thing about the NBC deal is that NBC clips of shows are already being uploaded. It’s just that it has been users who have been uploading the clips, not the network. This doesn’t hurt TV audiences, it enhances them. Nobody is going to stop watching a TV show because they can get a 3 minute clip of the show on YouTube. Anyway, I’m not sure how this is really meaningful. I have a great deal of respect for YouTube, but this deal looks like much ado about nothing. NBC posts clips that are already available and they agree to buy advertising, which they would probably do even without the clips. I don’t get how this is significant.

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