YouTube Negotiating User-Gen Exclusivity?


YouTube’s new indie partner deals apparently require some videos to be hosted on the Google-owned video site exclusively for two weeks, at least in the case of Christine Gambito, a.k.a. HappySlip, who is one of the select few testing the program. Along with that tidbit, BusinessWeek offers a good piece today on the price of signing your content away to a site like YouTube that you can’t control.

Getting on the YouTube train comes with its rewards, but it’s unclear that creators who become successful can jump off that train without getting hurt. They long to control their content, keep advertising dollars to themselves, and capitalize on their own brands, but it’s impossible to cleanly export the audience and infrastructure they’ve built. “You can’t sell your DVD on YouTube,” Gambito tells BusinessWeek. Adds Ze Frank, “What some people are finding is the crappiest situation is to be popular on these massive platforms.”

And YouTube implementing old-world concepts like exclusivity and windowing definitely escalates the issue.


Brian Walsh

Episodic content is very different than video clips. Beyond just consistent formatting and a continuing storyline, it represents a brand and can continually build value to that brand. For content producers, having control of that brand is extremely important. When reading this, I was brought back to something that Kent Nichols, from Ask a Ninja, said regarding lonelygirl15. In essence, he said their biggest challenge is how to continue to build out their property without reliance on the YouTube machine. The temptation of instant audience is hard to balance with the need to control your own brand.

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