I love this gem of an article about the Youtube ecosystem, how evil is all is and how one content person is telling folks how it is.
Finally someone who knows what they are talking about is calling it as they see it. Using Youtube as your content distribution strategy will only lead to your content being worth less than it is if you created your own distribution for it or worked with partners that help you to properly monetize it. Some super good nuggets in here.
This is the best one:
In summary, if you are a content company trying to build a ‘YouTube business,’ you are investing in your own demise.
Section C is awesome!
c) Why content owners investing solely in YouTube are investing in their own demise
YouTube has made a big deal about celebrating their awesome stars, and they should. It’s amazing that personalities like Jenna Marbles, iJustine and countless others have gotten to hundreds of thousands–even millions–of subscribers.
People have become YouTube famous and gotten onto TV even. They’re making a living and a great one at that at the top of the pyramid.
However, what folks must realize is that their subscribers are NOT their subscribers. They’re YouTube’s users. Content creators don’t have the email addresses of their individuals, just the ability — for now — to get on their YouTube home page.
That control has lead YouTube celebs to start investing heavily in things like Instagram, Twitter and destination sites, in an attempt to win back control of their fans. More on this later.
Of course, YouTube additionally keeps changing their design, and not necessarily to help publishers. YouTube executives speak often of their main motivator: ‘to increase the session length at YouTube.’
YouTube controls the user base AND the advertising relationship.
What I tell young publishers is they need to focus on — and own — three things:
1. The relationship with consumers
2. The relationship with content creators
3. The relationship with advertisers
YouTube controls consumers and advertisers already, and they are using special events like ‘YouTube Comedy Week’ to control #2.
If you’re building a publishing company on YouTube, you now have no control over advertising and consumers, and you’re going to lose your talent next.
Think about it. If you’re Maker Studios — which lost their #1 star Ray William Johnson back in October — you now have YouTube inviting your talent to their upfronts and featuring them in massive special event promotions (like the ‘Comedy Week’ thing).
Do you not see what they’re doing?
YouTube is absolutely going to disintermediate the MCN (multichannel networks) in the next year or two. You can see it starting already. I mean, why would YouTube let other publishers control the top talent ultimately?
YouTube needs to fight against the large voting blocks like Machinima and Maker Studios, because if 10 of those folks got together and built a competitor it would be a major blow to YouTube. They could start sending 2% of their users off of YouTube a week — and weeks go by quickly I’ve learned.
In summary, if you are a content company trying to build a ‘YouTube business,’ you are investing in your own demise. You must stop and think, ‘How can I reduce my YouTube footprint to 1/3rd of my mix of revenue and views?’
Every time you invest $1 in YouTube, you’re building their power base and leverage over you. How can you invest that $0.66 of that dollar in an asset you control? At least then you might have a fighting chance over Goliath.
In a way, YouTube is the Sebastian Shaw of the ecosystem, absorbing all your power and talent and using it for their prime directive: maintain the 45% tax through control of talent, advertisers and user behavior.
OK, I’ve got two more sections to go, and this email is already at 1,500 words!
I’m going to finish these two in the next 48 hours (with your help!):