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Ok Go on EMI's video embedding policy

January 22nd, 2010 Un comentario

Remember my post about Universal not allowing people to repost their Youtube videos?

Damian Kulash from Ok Go, the band that became superfamous thanks to their videos with crazy coreographies, posted an open letter on the topic. It’s very interesting and definitely worth reading:
http://okgo.forumsunlimited.com/index.php?showtopic=4169

The labels are hurting and they need every penny they can find, so they’ve demanded a piece of the action. They got all huffy a couple years ago and threatened all sorts of legal terror and eventually all four majors struck deals with YouTube which pay them tiny, tiny sums of money every time one of their videos gets played. Seems like a fair enough solution, right? YouTube gets to keep the content, and the labels get some income.

The catch: the software that pays out those tiny sums doesn’t pay if a video is embedded.

So far, I’ve had the assumption that the more a video was embedded around third-party websites and blogs, the more visits it got on Youtube, but these companies seem to think the opposite way. I wonder if they have data to back this choice.

  • It is remarkable that Youtube is not paying the labels for embedded playing. On one hand, Youtube is getting all the bandwidth costs and (almost) none of the ad revenue from these, so there’s no pie of which to share a slice (except in-video ads). On the other hand, I regard it as common knowledge that embedding videos is _the_ way Youtube got its immense penetration in the first place, so embedded clickthrough might be more than negligible. But I really wonder how much financial sense do embedded videos make today. I guess the fact that Google’s got such inmense economy scale for bandwidth makes them ready and willing to spend bandwith big time, but I still don’t get to understand. Sometimes the workings of network economy are just beyond me…