Wednesday, 11 October 2006

YouTube sale or sell out?

The freshly inked deal between YouTube and Google has generated a lot of column space both on and offline.

A deal of $1.6billion harks back to the crazy nineties, when guys in chinos, chambray shirts and their start-ups filled the financial pages.

This deal however is a little different. For starters both parties have recently signed deals with major entertainment companies. This makes concerns over copyright issues much less of a worry.

What is a worry though, is the impact of corporate advertisers on YouTube videos. The days of unbridled freedom of expression are quite probably over.

YouTube has always allowed its users to flag offensive content. However what we consider offensive and what a corporation considers offensive are two very different things.

So where does this leave YouTube or should I say GooTube?

If it allows videos that sponsors aren’t happy with then its revenue will suffer. However if it overdoes censorship then it will lose users. Not only that, but they’ll also spread the censorship issue globally in the blink of an eye.

Me thinks that media watchers will be watching YouTube very closely over the coming months. Sadly though it’ll be the company itself they’re watching, not the Coke+Mentos videos.

Thanks to SG for the logo.