Monday, June 4, 2007

YouTube Going Legit

YouTube previously announced a revenue share for some of its non-corporate users a few weeks ago. It recently announced a revenue share with Hearst Argyle TV - owner of local TV networks where YouTube will pay a licensing fee for some of its news, weather, and entertainment clips. YouTube also has a deal with Verizon Wireless and Apple TV. YouTube also struck a deal with EMI allowing users access to use EMI music in their clips, although EMI still owns the license and can request takedown. YouTube is also breaking ground in the pre-roll ad space sponsoring video blog Rocketboom (Rocketboom is charging $3000 for pre rolls and this number jumps to $5000 on 9/1). YouTube is slowly making the cross over into tradition media and legit media with these deals that they are striking. They're still obviously in a dispute with Viacom over $1 billion dollars.

YouTube is clearly making a splash amongst everyone out there. AdAge featured an article today about how YouTube is being used to not only advertise prescription drugs, but how consumers are reacting to it. I think the pharmaceutical business is taking a step in the right direction. YouTube is here to stay. And with YouTube slowly going legit you'll be able to see brand bashers on your television (a strange juxtaposition between UGC and professionally created content). But what can be done to protect your brand on YouTube? Honestly, not much. The first amendment protects free speech. If someone wants to "review" your product on YouTube you can't really do anything about it. However, what you can do is dispel some of those myths via a video comment, which is very different from a text comment. Video comments are almost like a rebuttal to the very video being watched at that moment. Users are more likely to watch a video comment (although it usually requires approval from the original video owner). For example, if someone posted a negative video about my BlendTec blender saying that it wouldn't blend your daily celery juice, and that video reached a critical mass of audience, I would post it up as a response the Will It Blend series. (A highly successful series featuring the BlendTec blender.)

If your video can entertain (first and foremost) and then educate (a distant second) then the video can possibly be successful to build a following on YouTube. The GlaxoSmithKline ad (via AdAge) is an extremely clever and interesting domino video that has little to do with the drug and disease, but I think that I now have a better subconscious association with Restless Leg Syndrome and GSK than I ever had!

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