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Companies Should Be Using YouTube
Date 5/11/2008    Tags Rant, Web    (0)

It was a month or so back and I remember this awesome Saturday Night Live skit that I just had to show my girlfriend. I'm not an avid YouTube user, but I've used it before in such instances to find little funny skits that would otherwise be impossible to view. Much to my sadness (and now my girlfriend's hopes and dreams were crushed), I couldn't find the skit I wanted. So I search for another. And another. And another. And I couldn't find any of them. The more and more I looked, the less quality material I could find.

It seems that YouTube has done a great job of purging their site of copywriter material. And I guess under the letter of the law, this is what they had to do, but it ruined the site for me. And I can't understand why companies wouldn't want their stuff up there for all to see.

You're not gonna put up full episodes of shows or movies, they would be too big or too grainy to sit through and watch. But short bits of a show or skit are made for that medium. Let's say I wanted to watch the “I Drive a Dodge Stratus” Will Farrel SNL skit. Before I might look it up on YouTube, laugh my ass off, throw a plate into the wall (mostly because I sometimes confuse this skit with American Beauty), and think to myself, “That was rather funny, perhaps I will tune into SNL this weekend and see if it's gotten funny again.” Instead though, I didn't get to watch the clip, laugh my ass off, and destroy an innocent plate. And I didn't tune into SNL this weekend either.

I just don't understand why companies refuse to allow the sharing of this material. When something is old and unavailable, allowing the common Internet user access to view is only going to help your sales not hurt them. It will make fans them remember how much they liked the show and either tune in to new episodes on TV or purchase DVD compilations at the store. The people that don't buy or watch on TV weren't going to anyways, but you've potentially opened things for others. That's more sales and more advertising because you allowed people access to material that wasn't making you money prior to that. And best of all, being on YouTube doesn't cost the company a single cent; Google is footing that massive bandwidth bill.

Now many companies are expanding to show content but only on their sites. Again, why does it have to be on your site? So you can throw a 30 second add in front of the material? Well how much does it cost to setup a site like this with bandwidth massive enough to do this on? Does that advertising even cover that cost? I'm doubtful on that fact, but it could just be on YouTube for nothing. Or included with the caveat that a commercial or link be included with it. That would make too much sense to do though.

And many of these sites are so shoddily done. NBC is the prime offender I've experienced (though I will say I haven't spent much time online with their competitors so I'm not saying they're any worse or better than them, they're just bad individually). Their half hour series seem to play alright, but getting into something an hour long like Heroes or Friday Night Lights is unwatchable. Never mind that I see the exact same commercial four times (which really makes me think there is a significant lack of sponsorship for online TV), but they seem to have major buffering issues, choppy playback, and often times will keep playing the same part over and over (episodes are broken down into 4 or so parts, which in theory advance to the next when one complete but in practice often replay the same part over and over until you close the browser and start over).

So why not just have it on YouTube? Save the trouble, save the money spent on lawyers getting them to remove your content and bandwidth and development costs that only lead to a half-assed site that no one wants to use. Again, that would make too much sense. 0"<

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