Youtube Block Party

Youtube does not like to block users or filter content, except when it helps their business.

Youtube CEO Susanne Wojcicki wrote this on her blog:

/…/it threatens to block users in the EU from viewing content that is already live on the channels of creators everywhere. This includes YouTube’s incredible video library of educational content, such as language classes, physics tutorials and other how-to’s.

This was in the context of the copyright reform. But she might just as well have been writing about Youtube’s own negotiation strategies. Yesterday, Youtube threatened to remove all Danish music after composer society KODA has refused to accept a new contract that would cut almost 70% of compensation. This should come as no surprise, the monopolist’s ultimatum is straight from the Google playbook, successfully applied to news before. Perhaps the double standards should also not come as a surprise. Except we don’t have to buy it, do we?

Fun fact: Remember MTV? Yeah, that’s right: the 80’s music television sensation which made the music video a core part of any artist’s marketing. Loved by fans (I spent hours everyday!). Hard to imagine today’s Youtube had MTV not come before. An overwhelming majority of the most popular videos on Youtube are music videos.

What about MTV? Arguably great visibility and marketing for artists and labels, but MTV paid royalties for the music videos it aired. Yes, they also fought about it. But MTV paid artists. Maybe not such a bad idea for Youtube to consider?