Ah, Viacom and YouTube, once such a cute couple! Sure, the breakup was messy, but now they both seem to be doing fine. In its earnings call this week Viacom said traffic to its Comedy Central website had increased 90 percent since it requested removal of all its video clips from YouTube. Traffic to MTV’s and Nickelodeon’s sites was also up significantly, Viacom said.
While viewers may miss being able to see their favorite Colbert and Daily Show clips on YouTube, YouTube isn’t suffering from the breakup either, showing a 14 percent gain in traffic itself since Viacom’s departure. While Viacom’s increases may not be all that — without discrete viewer numbers, it’s hard to tell if “percentage” increases are significant or not — if the company aggressively moves to put more content online viewers are the winners.
With an aggressive strategy to pursue smaller content producers, maybe YouTube will become more of a place to find undiscovered talent — the next Colbert — rather than repeated clips of the current favs.