March 13, 2007

The Business Model is Litigation.

Viacom makes it quite clear that its business model no longer (if it ever did) includes selling its product to consumers who want to buy it. Realistically, to get past the 10-minute clip limit, this 'content' is mostly the famous 150,000 music video properties that they sent cease-and-desist letters for after identifying them through a sloppy-ass regexp. The problem I have with this is that the quality of those clips was really for ass, and all those clips did was stoke up my nostalgia to the point where I started actively hunting for ways to purchase the ones I liked on DVD. Note that these were videos I hadn't thought about in fifteen years or more.

Of course, my hunt was doomed to failure. There wasn't any way to buy the content in nearly all cases.

Viacom has the opportunity to extract money from me, money neither it nor anyone else would have gotten had those videos not been posted, by simply figuring out how to put a 'BUY IT FROM US NOW' link on the video pages on YouTube. But rather than do that, they've apparently decided it's easier to sue YouTube for a billion dollars or so - apparently while also negotiating to put their content on some other service. That other service, though, is one I've never fucking heard of and still can't remember the name of. Nor have any of the other fifteen friends I was excitedly reminiscing about those videos with over IM.

Which means, of course, that either they're going to have to spend an awful lot of advertising money to make us aware of that new service, or simply accept that the fifteen of us (moderately affluent, impulse-spending, digital-happy types) are just going to regretfully decide not to buy any music video content over the web.


Posted by jbz at March 13, 2007 11:21 AM | TrackBack

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