YouTube strikes licensing deal with British music publishers + songwriters

August 30, 2007

News: YouTube struck a major deal with MCPS-PRS Alliance, a British collecting society that represents 10 million musical works on behalf of their publishers or song writers. Under the deal, YouTube will pay a flat fee for use of the musical works on videos on YouTube by its users.  Terms of the flat fee were not disclosed. (More)

Analysis: This is an incredibly important deal for YouTube to stave off more copyright lawsuits. Now it needs to do the same thing with all the U.S. music publishers suing it. As a business strategy, I find it hard to believe that YouTube would only strike this kind of deal with the UK music publishers. If YouTube is able to secure similar deals with the U.S. music publishers suing it and to settle their claims, the copyright lawsuits against YouTube would certainly become less worrisome (reducing the potential scope of liability).

So who’s on YouTube?: TV New Zealand (TVNZ)

June 25, 2007

TV Goodnight Kiwi

According to TVNZ, “Before 24 hour TV Goodnight Kiwi signalled the end of nightly broadcasts. The last airing of this animation was in 1994. Today the characters are regarded as icons of New Zealand culture.” Rest of videos here.

YouTube goes local, gets deal with Hearst-Argyle TV

June 4, 2007

News: YouTube announced a partnership deal with Hearst-Argyle TV, which own TV stations in Boston, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Manchester, N.H. The local programming from TV will find further life on YouTube. (more)

EMI, the last of the 4 major labels, enters YouTube’s fold

May 31, 2007

News:  EMI and YouTube agreed to a licensing deal to allow EMI artists’ videos on YouTube.  YouTube users will also be allowed to make “mashup” and “remixes” of some (if not all) of EMI’s videos.  EMI’s artists include David Bowie, Coldplay, The Decemberists, Fatboy Slim, Gorillaz, Lily Allen, and Norah Jones. (More)

Analysis:  This is big news.  YouTube now has deals in place with all of the 4 major labels.  (No lawsuits from the recording industry.)  That’s quite an accomplishment for YouTube.   

Eros Int’l brings Bollywood videos to YouTube

May 22, 2007

News:  Bollywood is the Indian version of Hollywood.  Eros Int’l is a major studio from India that has just opened up a channel on YouTube.

Robert Scoble of Scobleizer blog loves Google/YouTube deal

May 18, 2007

News: Robert Scoble has one of the most read blogs on WordPress, which is pretty amazing because he only writes about tech stuff. He’s a former Microsoft guy who now works at When Scoble talks, people in the tech world listen.

Yesterday, Scoble gave his strong approval of Google’s acquisition of YouTube. Scoble admits that he didn’t realize the business sense of the deal until now:

“By putting YouTube results into Google’s main engine Google ensures it will have better searches than Yahoo and Microsoft (who were, truth be told, getting damn close to matching Google’s quality). And it does it in a way that Yahoo and Microsoft will not be willing to match. * * * Microsoft still treats each team as something that must make money. Google doesn’t do that. They didn’t care one bit that YouTube didn’t have any revenues. They knew that there’s other ways to make money off of YouTube than to force YouTube to monetize on its own. * * * It also is even more worth putting up with billions of dollars of lawsuits.”

Analysis: YouTube, then, is another database for Google search–a database that no one else has. Brilliant. Just don’t let the YouTube community know that they are just another Google database.  They wouldn’t like that description.

Google negotiating deals with Spanish channels Telecinco and Cuatro

April 17, 2007

News:  Spanish TV channels Telecinco and Cuatro are reportedly negotiating licensing deals with Google to allow some of their popular videos on YouTube.  Apparently, they’ve asked YouTube already to remove some unauthorized clips of their shows.  (More here)

Does YouTube deserve a C- for its dealmaking?

March 5, 2007

News: Washington Post writer Sara Kehaulani Goo has written an article titled “YouTube struggles despite dominance.”  According to the article, Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research said, “‘I give them a C-minus [in dealmaking]. When you negotiate with a media company, you have to demonstrate respect for their content.” He said YouTube needed to use more sophisticated technology to prevent the unauthorized uploads, which would in turn help foster more trust between YouTube and the media companies. ‘There is software out there — it’s not perfect, but it’s out there.'”

Analysis:   I agree there were a few hiccups in the past month with YouTube.  Lost deals with CBS and Viacom, plus rumblings from Universal.  But Google CEO Eric Schmidt did seem to right the ship by his public comments.  And I still think it’s significant no big media content provider has sued YouTube yet.  This may be because, as Scott Kessler of Standard & Poor’s said, “If these companies want to distribute their video content online for free or supported by advertising, they need YouTube more than YouTube needs them.”

BBC joins YouTube bandwagon

March 5, 2007

News: Last Friday, the UK-based television network BBC announced a major deal with YouTube to post videos of BBC content. The BBC now has 3 channels on YouTube: (1) BBC, (2) BBC Worldwide, and BBC News (not yet up). BBC will get a cut of the advertising revenue generated by traffic brought to YouTube’s site. (More here)


NBA secures deal with YouTube, enters Web 2.0

February 27, 2007

News:  NBA announced a deal with YouTube to deliver basketball highlights on YouTube.  Also, the NBA is holding a contest for people to send in their best basketball moves.   See the video below.  (Sorry, my best BBall moves would not make anyone’s highlight reel.)  Even more exciting, on the NBA’s own site, users can apparently create their own mashups of NBA basketball highlights on NBA Highlight Mixer, through which you can synch in music from the NBA library.  This is fantastic!  I wonder what Mark Cuban has to say now.

Viacom comes home to Joost, spelling trouble for YouTube

February 21, 2007

News:  This past month, Viacom broke off negotiations with YouTube and demanded that YouTube remove over 100,000 unauthorized clips on YouTube  — the clips contained some of Viacom’s most popular shows, like The Colbert Report and Daily Show.  Yesterday, Viacom announced a licensing deal with Joost, a new video sharing site still in the beta version.  Joost is based on a peer-to-peer model of streaming, but it won’t let users copy.  The announcement only mentions shows like “Laguna Beach” and “Road Rules,” but not The Colbert Report and Daily Show.According to the San Jose Mercury News:  “Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said YouTube was continuing to post Viacom’s films and TV shows without permission and warned that Viacom “will take whatever steps are necessary” to protect its content. He contrasted YouTube’s stance with the position of Joost’s founders, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. “They took the right approach,” Dauman said in an interview. “I think it will be a great experience for consumers.” (More here)

Analysis:  This is clearly a sign that Viacom does not like YouTube’s negotiating terms and its recent stance on filtering unauthorized content.  Without knowing more about those terms, it’s hard for me to say which side, if any, was being unreasonable.  But Viacom’s deal with Joost does signal that Viacom is ready to play hard ball.  No wonder Google is hiring more lawyers.

Web TV:YouTube in revenue sharing deal to show old TV shows

February 13, 2007

News:  YouTube agreed to revenue sharing deal with Digital Music Group to show 4,000 hours of old TV shows like “I Spy” from the Group’s library.  DMG will get a percentage of revenue from ads appearing alongside its shows.  (More here)

Analysis:  This is genius.  Not to toot my own horn, but I basically came up with the same idea last year when I was talking to a friend about all the many old TV shows that could be revived to generate more income.  This deal is just a scratch of the surface. There are so many old shows that are just collecting dust somewhere in warehouses.  Why aren’t more copyright holders trying to give these old shows a Second Life on the web?

Who got rich from the YouTube-Google deal?

February 8, 2007

News: YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley and Steve Chen each got about $325 million in Google Stock.  Jawed Karim, the 3rd cofounder who left for Stanford, got $64.6 million. (More here)

Then, the sole venture capitalist backing YouTube, Sequoia Capital, got $442 million in Google stock.  Another part of the pot went to Sequoia’s private investors, a who’s who list of elite institutions:






The families behind the Getty, Hewlitt-Packard, and Intel fortunes.

Did Chevrolet “take over” YouTube on New Year’s?

January 2, 2007

News: Donna Bogatin of ZDnet has written several posts (here and here), seeming to criticize YouTube for allowing Chevrolet to “take over” YouTube’s homepage on New Year’s with its promotion. Bogatin insinuates that one reason that Google preferred to keep YouTube independent was to allow YouTube to “sell out” (my words, not hers) to advertisers in ways that Google itself eschews.

Analysis: YouTube is both a community and a corporation, people must keep in mind. People who love the YouTube community can’t expect that the company can survive without trying to make money through — heaven forbid — advertising. I, for one, thought Chevrolet’s banner ad on New Year’s was not over-the-top (no pun intended) or excessive to YouTube’s general ethos. Judge for yourself:




NHL hockey on YouTube

November 15, 2006

News:  The National Hockey League became the first professional sport to agree to a deal with YouTube.  The NHL will market their games by showing 2- to 5-minute highlights clips from games on YouTube, within 24 hours of the actual games.  (More from Reuters and NHL)

Analysis: I like the idea.  Other sports should follow suit.  They should also allow fans (or YouTube users) to mash up the highlights to create their own little hockey videos.

YouTube on demand + on cellphones

November 7, 2006

News:  WSJ reports that YouTube is nearing a deal with Verizon to offer YouTube videos on Verizon’s cellphones and also on demand on its cable service.  (More from Reuters)

Analysis:  This would be a great deal for YouTube, but just how many silly videos can a person watch in one day?

Truthiness report: Mark Cuban posts hearsay + speculation about Google-YouTube deal, later = near fact

October 31, 2006

News:  Mark Cuban ran an “insider’s” post about what went down in the Google-YouTube deal from an unnamed source who claimed to have second-hand knowledge from “people involved” in the Google-YouTube deal, but who openly admitted to be adding some pure speculation.  To his credit, Cuban admits that he has done no fact-checking and can’t vouch for the accuracy of the post (although Cuban does trust the source).

Despite the anonymous hearsay + speculation in Cuban’s post, it has already been reported as near fact, if not fact itself, on ZDNet, Search Engine Watch, and other sites.

Analysis:  I think it’s fine for Mark Cuban to blog this story with a disclaimer about its accuracy.  But it seems like the old trap of telling a story to one friend, who tells it to another, who tells it to another, etc.  By the time the story has traveled around, here, the Internet, it is transformed from speculation to near fact.  Now that’s truthiness.

What Mark Cuban doesn’t get, Part 2: music studios buy into YouTube

October 20, 2006

News: NYT’s writers Andrew Sorkin and Jeff Leeds have detailed more information about the 3 majors deals YouTube struck with the recording studios Universal, Sony BMG, and Warner Music on the same day as the Google deal.  In exchange for allowing their music to be used by YouTube users, the recording studios each received a small stake in YouTube.  According to the NYT reporters, “Indeed, people involved in the discussions said that the music companies rushed to complete the deal ahead of the YouTube deal, in part so that it could benefit in the jump in YouTube’s value.”

Analysis:  I don’t want to sound like a broken record (pun intended), but Mark Cuban’s prediction that YouTube will suffer the same copyright demise as Napster has proven to be wrong, again and again.  When 3 of the 4 major recording studios have bought a stake in YouTube, that’s a powerful sign of how those music copyright holders view the legitimate business potential of YouTube. 

Related post

Business + Web 2.0: What Mark Cuban doesn’t get

Universal Music agrees to deal with YouTube, ending threat of copyright lawsuit