So there are a few notable developments regarding YouTube. YouTube’s business developments aren’t all positive, but its market share is continuing to grow. The latest numbers indicate a 56.38% market share, a market share increase of 6.96% in under a year.
Viacom has dropped out of letting YouTube host its content exclusively.
The deal is limited, at least at first: many of Viacom’s most popular programs, such as Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report and South Park, will not be available initially. Some of the featured offerings, however, will be MTV’s My Super Sweet 16, Comedy Central’s Freak Show, BET’s American Gangster, as well as feature films from Paramount and its related brands.
Supposedly, Viacom was sold on Joost’s closed model. Joost runs on the idea that they are a content provider, not a content aggregate. In other words, YouTube is all about open and social video while Joost is about hosting closed content. I think this is stupid on Viacom’s part. If hosting their own videos on their own website’s (such as comedycentral.com) isn’t generating much traffic, why would hosting it on an equally if not less popular website yield more results?
Microsoft Potentially Buying Revver
Revver is a pretty slick YouTube competitor that works on the idea of sharing ad revenue. For example, you’ll find plenty of Ask a Ninja clips on the site. Recently, it was pointed out that Microsoft is now in talks to purchase Revver. Revver is definitely the less “fun” version of YouTube and seems like a good fit for Microsoft. No, but seriously, it has a lot of potential, although it wouldn’t be a power play. In December, Microsoft had a 4% share of the video market, nearly half of what they had last year. Still, they are in an admirable 3rd place (Since YouTube and Google are one).
Revver would help Microsoft distinguish themselves in this market, but it’s clear that the purchase certainly wouldn’t help to make them #1. If they do purchase Revver, I’d look at it like an admission of defeat. YouTube owns this market, and Microsoft is likely going to be happy with a #2 niche.
YouTube Doesn’t Have Filtering Technology
It was pointed out today that YouTube’s supposed content filtering software was all a ruse. Instead, they’re licensing the technology from a third party:
YouTube is reported to have licensed copyright filtering technology from AudibleMagic. The San Jose Mercury News cites two unnamed sources as saying that Google will soon unveil filtering technology for YouTube from the leading third party filtering provider, Audible Magic.
This is good news for all of the recent broken deals, since it may bring some people back to the table, but it’s bad news to hear that YouTube wasn’t as on top of their game as many people would have liked to think. Really, Google should be buying this company if their technology is so good. After all, even MySpace is using it.
Maybe this is actually a backup-backup plan. As in, YouTube is in the works for their own filtering software, but this is just to buy time since their old bluff was starting to get called. Just maybe.
Good News: BBC is on Board!
BBC is going to start hosting some of its content on YouTube.
A Google deal would mean cross-platform, worldwide access to the BBC’s shows like Monty Python, Mr Bean and Top Gear.
This comes after BBC initially asked YouTube remove their clips from the site. The most interesting quote from Mashable:
They may additionally use Google Video’s payment system to charge for high quality versions of the content, albeit with DRM.
So it seems Google plans to leverage its new dual exposure (YouTube vs Google Video) to tackle two markets at once: the freebie versus paid. Either way, this should be very interesting.
Adsense to Video
Also, to give Mashable some credit , they’re also reporting on an Adsense expansion:
In related news, Google is expanding its test of video Adsense to include music videos from Sony BMG and Warner Music Group. They’d previously been testing with videos from MTV Networks. The new system is available to a select few Adsense publishers – it displays a CPM ad at the end of music videos posted to those sites, and splits the ad revenue between Google, the publisher and the video provider.
What’s interesting there is the CPM ad. CPM means it’s not per-click, but rather per 1000 views. This is much more similar to TV ads. Google is definitely beginning to expand their ad model.
Should we still expect smooth sailing by the end of the year? It’s hard to say. Viacom is already on board with another distributor, although they’ll likely come back on their knees in a few months after they realize they aren’t getting any views and all their videos keep appearing on YouTube anyway.
The new content filtering software, even if it isn’t written by YouTube, is a new and very valuable bargaining chip. We should expect YouTube to leverage this heavily in the coming months. Hopefully this means CBS finally finishes their deal with YouTube. If the CBS deal falls through, THEN I’d start to worry.