Image courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik
Last September I gave an opening speech to the English Premiership clubs discussing loyalty and the future economy of content.
On the latter subject, my personal view is that content cannot stay free for the long term. Our children will look back on the web and ask us what is was like living in a bubble of free video (iPlayer), free radio (any radio station’s website/ iPhone app), free high quality music (Spotify), free text content (over 99% of websites), free storage (YouTube, Flickr, etc.), free search (Google, etc.) – it’s all free free free. I think we will answer our children by saying “Yes, it was a pretty cheap time – companies advertised on these sites, and we thought that covered the costs” – at least, this is the public’s perception.
So what will replace this massive amount of free content and free applications?
At the Premiership event I said that in the future we will have some sort of e-wallet, and each web page that you navigate to, and each search will take fractions of a penny out of your wallet. Listening to music might cost a little more, and video might cost a little more than video. The funds from your e-wallet will be redirected in part to your ISP and a part to the content owner. A bit like local and premium rate phone numbers – some money goes to the telco provider, and some to the company who picks up the phone. My gut feel is that a regular user will spend £10-20 (in today’s money) per month on this e-wallet.
That was all last September, and this week there was an article on TechCrunch (thanks to James at Endava for pointing this out) which described a new service called Flattr, which will adopt a similar-ish model. Flattr’s model is more proactive though – the content owner needs to install a Flattr button, and the user needs to press the button for funds to go to that owner. It’s a start though.
What a ridiculous comment David Drummond, chief legal officer at Google made about the Italian verdict.
He told the BBC News “It is like prosecuting the post office for hate mail that is sent in the post”. There’s a fundamental difference here though – the Postal Service can’t see what’s inside each envelope and parcel. YouTube can see every video that is posted.
Until now, YouTube have been on a honeymoon period of ignoring all copyright infringements and legal requirements in becoming a broadcaster. This is changing very quickly.
I applaude the Italian courts for having the backbone to becoming the first country to stand up to the most powerful company on the Internet.
My thanks to Erin at IMG for spotting an article on NMA discussing the cost of video ads.
The article basically says that with the law of supply and demand, there’s a whole lot of supply out there at the moment (which is only growing in size), and this is driving down prices, by as much as 50%.
In order to simplify the process of advertising across a huge number of video portals, a new group, VAST, has been set-up to manage campaigns separately. YouTube Google are on board so I would imagine that central system is very likely to be AdWords…
Have you seen some of the videos in the ‘Shows’ section of YouTube? Almost all of them have very few views and only 1 pre roll clip, so for a 30 (or even worse, 60) minute TV programme, they’re just about covering the cost of delivering the video.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Google have to re-brand the platform that delivers full length shows from the UGC site. (And maybe call it Hulu). YouTube simply isn’t an obvious destination for full length shows, despite every other London bus advertising the feature.
I mentioned last week that I found the BBC.com (not just BBC News) homepage coverage of the new Google phone disturbing – there are more important news articles to cover than Google releasing a new handset.
The same happened yesterday with the Apple iPad. With the end of the recession, Obama declaring war on the banks, and many other news stories, the Apple story was not the most important thing to happen yesterday.
Besides, apparently the new iPad doesn’t support Flash, so users can’t watch BBC’s iPlayer anyway.
The issue here is that the web producers at the BBC are too technology & new media focussed that they lose sight of what the country and the World really want from a news site – i.e. real news.
This is why I constantly stress the importance of proper, professional content across websites, and why newspaper coverage is still far superior to that on the web.
Well done to MotorCycleNews (MCN) on their efforts to step up the quality of their video production.
Regular subscribers to this blog will know that I am a big fan of high quality content, whether it’s written word or video. MCN’s paper coverage is a good standard, however it’s a major income source in the past has been it’s classifieds. With eBay stealing a large chunk of this, the paper’s classifieds section has become thinner smaller over the years. With the Internet, I would imagine that paper sales have been falling like other papers.
MCN have been producing their YouTube channel for sometime, but usually at an appalling, amateur standard – terrible sound and a single fixed camera.
Yesterday, they posted a video in excellent production quality, and the comments demonstrate this – the majority of them commenting on the production quality.
MCN top and tail their content with a promotion for their classifieds. It’s a first attempt at monetisation, but they should be extending this with captions and other YouTube functionality. As a regular reader, I wish them luck.