Has Comedy Central Decided People Have Seen Enough Of Its Shows On YouTube?

from the no-more! dept

Over the past few years, Comedy Central has been very accommodating to people putting their shows up on the web, knowing that it helped get them more publicity. YouTube has been a great source of clips from its most popular shows, from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to The Colbert Report to South Park. In the last year, as the success of YouTube has grown, it's seemed pretty clear that these clips also helped gain those shows increasing popularity. It gave people who missed last night's show a way to catch up on the funnier moments, and remind them why they didn't want to miss the next night's show. In particular, the producing team behind The Daily Show and The Colbert Report seemed to really appreciate how this worked. Last year, producer Ben Karlin said: "If people want to take the show in various forms, I'd say go. But when you're a part of something successful and meaningful, the rule book says don't try to analyze it too much or dissect it.... The one thing that you have control over is the content of the show. But how people are reacting to it, how it's being shared, how it's being discussed, all that other stuff, is absolutely beyond your ability to control."

Of course, that was before Google came into the picture. The media industry has been pretty wary of Google for a while, now, and it looks like Comedy Central's parent, Viacom, has had enough. Jeff writes in to let us know that YouTube has taken down many of the clips of those three shows at the request of an unknown third party -- who it seems reasonable to assume is Viacom (that story claims all clips from those shows are down, but poking around you can still find a few as of this posting). Let's be totally clear about this: this is absolutely Viacom's right. They have every right to do this, as Tim Wu noted yesterday. They could keep the clips up for as long as they'd like and then cut them off. However, that doesn't mean it's a smart move. It's much more likely done out of jealousy over Google than any strategic sense. The fact that these clips were on YouTube kept interest in these shows incredibly high and attracted a ton of new interest -- which the folks from those shows seemed to understand. After all, South Park became an original success because its clips were passed around online before it was even a TV show. Having the clips online got more people watching them, allowed more discussion about them -- and even gave a way for sites like ours to include clips from those shows in our posts. The day after Google announced the YouTube deal, Stephen Colbert joked that since so much of YouTube's traffic was based on clips of his show (which actually resulted in him starting a challenge that generated a ton of interest), Google obviously owed him a lot of money (yes, amusingly, that clip is still up there). Apparently, that lack of paying up means no more clips -- and less publicity for any of those Comedy Central shows. It may be their right, but that doesn't make it smart.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    your faja, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 8:52pm

    southpark?

    Make love not warcraft!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    your faja, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 8:52pm

    southpark?

    Make love not warcraft!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    GoroUnreal, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 9:05pm

    That's crap, the only way I was ever able to watch the daily show was on youtube. It's on at like midnight where I am so it's not really easy for me to watch it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      UMYEAH, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 9:18pm

      Re: GoroUnreal

      Get a TiVo, they practically give them away.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 5:37am

      Three letters: DVR

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      Ditto, now I can't watch Colbert or Stewart. Goodbye Comedy Central, hello home videos.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Joel, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 12:53pm

        Re: Re:

        Anyone on this thread that says they can't watch Colbert or Stewart is clueless. The videos are posted on comedycentral.com. It's incredibly painful to watch clueless idiots posting here about not being able to watch the internet video version of these two shows when they have been available for quite some time without ever visiting YouTube. Eventually, Google will realize how poor a decision it made to purchase YouTube for such a huge amount of money when there are plenty of outlets with perfectly good video delivery already. They should have jsut written a video sharing site themselves instead of buying one for so much money.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Mike (profile), Oct 29th, 2006 @ 1:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Anyone on this thread that says they can't watch Colbert or Stewart is clueless.

          Not quite. How many people were pointing to the videos on comedycentral.com? No one. That's because it's MUCH, MUCH easier to point to them on YouTube. This is about setting it up so people can watch the videos in the ways that best matches their needs. Not only that, it saves Comedy Central on their bandwdith bill...

          They should have jsut written a video sharing site themselves instead of buying one for so much money.

          Funny that you call people clueless above, but don't even seem to know that Google has a video sharing site that they built themselves, and which people barely used compared to YouTube...

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Peter Roberts (pappymayfly), Dec 2nd, 2006 @ 7:05am

      Re: Southpark on YouTube

      The corporate boys on Viacom should realize the debt they owe to online video sites like YouTube. There are many unknown talented producers who would give their eye teeth to achieve the exposure. I couldn’t give mine as I have none but I have produced over 100 comedy vids, most are uploaded to YouTube under the username of pappymayfly. The difference is I do my productions for pleasure.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Tashi, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 9:09pm

    Maybe Comedy Central should pay Youtube

    Two words: Free Advertisement. As someone who dabbles in independent film (I'm nervous about doing it full time, I might actually start taking it seriously) but as a indie film guy I feel that Youtube is more for folks like me and less for shows on the level of Comedy Central. But nonetheless the Youtube playing field is pretty level and people can watch what they want to watch. But hey if Viacom wants to throw away free advertising, that's their business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    cjmemay, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 9:14pm

    Agreed

    I agree, and though I understand why the writers and producers for The Daily Show, etc would take the stance they have, that is to say, none. It is very disappointing.

    I wonder if those guys are playing company politics and don't really believe it is in their best interest to stay out of the distribution. Like it or not, distribution medium is part of content creation; there is a reason they chose to do a TV show and not a movie, or a radio show. Right?

    If those guys would take a stand to Comedy Central/Viacom and say, "These shows are available over cable for "free" there is no reason they shouldn't be available over the internet for "free",' I think it would carry alot of weight.

    Comedy Central has a great online video distribution method with the Motherload, which they tout just about endlessly. They should follow in the footsteps of ABC and other stations and allow people to stream actual shows for free at their website. Or just hand it over to GooTube for free.

    This iTunes/Google Video bit with paying for season passes to TV shows is extortion. I mean if you want to subscribe to a month of the Daily Show and Colbert Report on iTunes, you are better off signing up for a full cable package with Comcast. The pricing is ridiculous. Its TELEVISION! There is advertising! Include the advertising put the shows on Bittorrent, and Gootube, and Motherload. Have EVERYONE watching your TV show, isn't that what they want???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 6:24am

      Re: Agreed

      "These shows are available over cable for "free"

      Where the hell do you live, free cable? Therefore the show is not free.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 10:14pm

    Just so you know, the internet is a different distribution channel from TV, so it's not necessarily up to Comedy Central whether or not to allow a show to be on YouTube. It's their job, unless they've purchased the internet rights, to prevent the shows from being distributed online.

    For example, let's say I make a movie. I own all of the rights. I license the rights for a DVD release to Sony. I license the TV rights to Comedy Central. Until recently, that would be about it. But now there's an internet market, so I license the internet distribution to iTunes. Obviously I'm not going to get a good internet distribution deal if the show is already freely available online, right? And obviously, in this example, Comedy Central does not have internet rights to my show. So they're required to pull the plug on my show on YouTube.

    You can complain all you want about how things need to work better, but unfortunately creators can only work within the system that exists. Little-by-little it can and will change, but for right now we're stuck with it, and circumventing it takes money out of people's pockets.

    There have always been little gray areas and circumventing in the past, but without the internet it didn't have the volume to really matter. Now it matters a lot.

    Again, you can go ahead and hate it, but at least now you've hopefully got a slightly better idea of why some things happen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    JohnnyBeGood, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 11:18pm

    PVRs

    I've gone the route of turning my computer into a PVR box. This way, when I record the shows, I can then export them to a video file that other video applications can work with. This means I am able to CUT OUT THE COMMERCIALS before archiving the programs to CDR or DVD.

    The sad thing is, not to long from now I'm sure no one will be able to do this. As is, TV tuners for computers aren't able to tune to digital cable or satellite (unless the provider makes the card). Wont be long until you can't export these shows to any usable format on the computer, making it completely impossible to effectively backup to hard media.

    They wanted a new form of home recording to replace VHS, but now they want to basically restrict all the freedoms VHS gave the home user. It's completely insane! I still hold out in hopes for the JohnnyXh4x0rEVERYMAN that breaks these formats and DRMs so we that have paid our time or money for these programs can do what we will with them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Cixelsid, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 12:33am

    Single Mothers

    This sortof reminds me of the time I dated a single mom. At first the kid jumping on your lap is all fun and games, you're smiling akwardly 'cause the girl you're trying to lay thinks its cute that her kid is "connecting" with you. So you smile and say dumb things like "sport" and "little guy"... until of course, while sitting next to mommy on the couch trying to make your move, he jumps on your testicles for the nineteenth time and calls you assface. Right about then is when you grab him by the throat and threaten to rip out his eyeballs and shove them up each nostril...

    What was I trying to say again?... oh yeah, the Internet Public is the mom, YouTube is the kid and Comedy Central is you. CC is all smiles and shit while YouTube does whatever the hell it wants, cause the Internet Public, a whole new entertainment market, thinks they're "connecting". Until of course YouTube finally tests CC's patience just a tad too much.

    Ok, maybe it isn't such a great metaphor. Still, word to the wise; don't give the kid any candy if you're planning on staying the night.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Larry, Mar 17th, 2007 @ 1:00am

      Re: Single Mothers

      ROTFLMAO!!!!

      This is about the funniest thing I have ever read and didn't understand a word of it. The image is burnt into my brain.

      Thanks for the late evening laugh.

      DubleDeuce

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Tyrek, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 2:13am

    They must have sharing sites to suppliment service

    I just don't want to see a bunch of $10/month services control the future of online content; where if the product is not in my service I either add on a new service for another 10/month or fork out 1 dollar a pop for a song or $10 for a single movie. It could really defeat the whole purpose.

    Hopefully they can just leave the sharing (Bittorrent; YouTube) sites for people who need extra content to supplement their services and support them with ads. Maybe better deal scan be made or your service can somehow access this content legally if they don't carry a product.

    Right now the online music industry is 2 billion a year vs 8 billion a year for CDs. Pretty soon online will eclipse CDs, I think, or maybe people might switch to flash RAM if they want a form of portability. But basically it is their main industry so they should rewrite copyrights to secure this.

    Basically it should remain like it always has to avoid confusion. People tend to make copies of stuff for their friends/family/acquaintances who just haven't had the time or access to get it from their daily money dump into Hollywood.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 5:56am

    I have a feeling if the people who posted the shows didn't remove the commercials and there wasn't a way to skip them, they might've left them up. They don't make money if people only watch their show on YouTube (which obviously isn't true, someone is capping it)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Adam, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 7:44am

    South Park

    I agree that the clips can really help their cause. Years ago I visited a family in North Carolina, the first season of south park had just started. I fell in love with it right away. Unfortunitely, I couldn't get comedy central at home :(. So I downloaded the series for about 4-5 years until comedy central came to town. Without the internet I would have most likely lost interest in it and forgot it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 7:45am

    a little overstretched?

    I don't think you can pin south park's success solely on that one factor... in fact you can't. poor writing mike... sorry bud.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Mike (profile), Oct 28th, 2006 @ 10:35am

      Re: a little overstretched?

      I don't think you can pin south park's success solely on that one factor... in fact you can't. poor writing mike... sorry bud.

      Before South Park was on TV it was a short video that was only available online. It got passed around like crazy, which was how they ended up getting a show on Comedy Central...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    DarkHalo101, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 8:18am

    YouTube and Comedy Cenrtral

    My YouTube account was one of the ones suspended for having copyrighted material on it. YouTube emailed me requesting that I remove the Daily Show clips. Unfortunately I was at work and didnt see that email until hours later when I got home. I guess that wasnt fast enough for YouTube as they suspended my account rather than wait for me to remove them, which I would have done. The email I got said the request to remove them came via third party from Comedy Central. This was exactly what was said in the email:

    This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by Comedy Central claiming that this material is infringing:

    and then they listed 1 of the clips. I got 2 of these emails while at work and before I could do as they asked they suspended my account. Im not sure exactly what "suspended" means to YouTube though...is it closed down forever or just temporarily? I dont know. YouTube is notorious for not responding to members email requests for an explanation as to why they take the actions they do.

    Considering the high number of views my site was getting on the Daily Show clips I have to wonder why Comedy Central would take this action? These werent entire shows. Most were no more than 5 min in length. Comedy Central seems to be cutting off its nose to spite its face. Also if YouTube is saying all Comedy Central material has been removed theyre on drugs. I just did a search for "Jon Stewart" at YouTube and got over 3000 results.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Patrick, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 8:26am

    Idk...

    I think they did this because if you go to comedy central.com you will see that you can view last nights episodes, maybe they figure why have them somewhere else when they can be on Their website. When Youtube wasn't owned by a mult billion dollar comapany(Google) it didn't matter but now, why give your commetition help?

    Another note is it won't help Comedy Central making enemys with Google, Google will win. All then need to do technically is find one site having one of the three shows being shown, and they can sue Vicaom for disgrimination...who wants to face google?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 10:17am

    Actually, you can record the digital cable channels with tv tuners, but it's kind of a pain. Basically, you set it up as if you're recording from a VCR and run a coax line from your cable box to the tv tuner. Change the channels on the box to change the video feed going into the tuner and you're set. :-)

    More on the matter at hand, wouldn't it make sense for Comedy Central and Google to work out a seperate deal? Have Google put ads during commercial breaks and Google pays a portion of their income to Comedy Central (or Viacom, or whatever)? Youtube *could* force the content to have commercials in it if they wanted while preventing the posting of episodes by others. You could argue that the people might just pause it and fast forward during commercial breaks, but if they disabled the fast forward option, people would be required to view the commercials (thus, making the advertising companies happy). If the show was still free to the internet audience, I don't think anyone would waste their time trying to make bootleg versions of the show...especially knowing it would be removed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 1:08pm

    LOL, idiots.

    I don't think I ever watched comedy central until I seen a couple videos on the web from them.

    Now... as they are jumping on the 'screw the consumer' bandwagon, I'll turn it right back off again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Not-so-Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 1:16pm

    I like chicken.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Don Long, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 3:19pm

    On what is your opinion based? Wishful thinking or

    What are the exact statistics? I'd like to believe your assertion that free web content will increase the fan base, and hopefully TV viewers and increased ad revenue. Without data, it's moot. Does it or does it not increase South Park's profits? This should be very easy for the company or parent company to quantify. If they're pulling down the video clips, one can either assume, as you do, tht they're just not understanding the benefits. But it's more likely they have crunched the numbers and the practice is a net negative.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Tack, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 4:33pm

    A very basic concept

    I've often wondered why this seems to be an issue with any TV station. In the case of MP3's and ripped DVD Movies, where the money is made (for the distribution companies, i.e. Sony, MGM, etc) solely from the sale of the product itself, I can understand (though not agree with) their fears that they lose money by users downloading it for free from the internet. However, in the case of TV networks (with the exception of services such as HBO) their money is made from advertising, and in fact, YouTube/Google is a far cheaper distrobution method (for them) than standard Cable or Satelite TV is. To them, distributing The Daily Show over standard TV costs money, whereas doing so on Google costs them little to nothing. The only true cost they incur is when people distribute their shows (or clips from them) with the ads removed.

    Therefore, my advice to Comedy Central - or any other network such as whoever hosts Lost or Survivor - is to be selective. Ask youtube/google to remove only clips in which the ads have been removed, while leaving the clips with advertising online for anyone to see. Evenetually, the people who upload these shows to Google will begin not clipping the ads out, and in doing so, bith the consumers and Comedy Central win. In fact, this gives the network an edge (especially if they can generate statistics on who is watching, similar to TV Arbitron ratings) because they can show potential advertisers that they've got an entire market (the Google watchers) cornered.

    If I'm an advertising executive working for Toyota (who recently bought Scion, some really cool cars that they market to the younger crowd who often also watch the Daily Show and Southpark) then I'm probably going to buy ad space on Comedy Central either way, but if I find out that there's 30% additional viewership on the net which otherwise would either miss the show or not know about it who are also vastly within the Scion target demographic, then from my point of view, it's that much more targeted and I'm likely to spend extra money to increase ads during those shows, which means Scion sells more cars, Comedy Central sells more ads, and in the mean time the show itself gets more viewers.

    I guess I'm simply saying that I agree they should pull some of the clips -especially the clips that are too short to include an ad anyway - but there's a really good chance for Comedy Central to use this to their advantage by only pulling the Google clips that hurt them instead of making tis vast sweep and pulling everything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Steve Bryant, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 5:29pm

    Mike, can't agree with you here. Viacom also owns CBS and MTV; the former has a partnership with YouTube, the latter is currently testing video ads with Google. If I were Sumner Redstone, I would wonder why two properties are bringing in revenue with Google, while the other is allowing its content to be seen for free. I think we'll see Comedy Central partner with YouTube in the coming weeks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Mike (profile), Oct 28th, 2006 @ 11:54pm

      Re:

      If I were Sumner Redstone, I would wonder why two properties are bringing in revenue with Google, while the other is allowing its content to be seen for free.

      If I were Sumner Redstone, I'd recognize that having CC shows on YouTube had driven up the ad rate on CC and given me a lot more money. But... neither of us are Sumner Redstone.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 11:22pm

    re: A very basic concept (by Tack)

    As I said way up near the top, Comedy Central may not have the rights to allow any internet distribution. Just because they air a show doesn't mean they own it outright. They *might*, but then again, they might not. For example, I doubt they own South Park. So if the owners of South Park's rights (possibly Parker and Stone, but maybe not), don't want the clips on YouTube, then, legally, Comedy Central must do their best to have them removed.

    Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not arguing against against internet distribution, I'm merely a commenting about why Comedy Central might have had the videos pulled-- about why it might have been out of their hands and against what they'd *want* to do. There can definitely be an advantage to having things on YouTube etc. but Comedy Central may not have the legal right to permit it for these shows.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    TheTyranny ofthe Majority, Oct 28th, 2006 @ 11:58pm

    Election Propoganda Blackout

    They pulled clips because the media will make more money with Republican winners, and Daily Show and Cobert report are fairly liberal in their humor and slant. Fox news viewers can't stand either, I assure you. It's one more conspiracy of the Conservative Multinational Clampdown. Rise up and fight for your right to share information for FREE like the Founders (Franklin, etc) of the US envisioned.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Hari Seldon, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 5:14am

    Consumption

    What is the magic number I have to pay in order for content providers such as CC to stop and shut the hell up!

    50, 100, 250? What?

    If I already pay for cable why can't I also consume the media when I want? We have a timeshift issue here and I want to consume my media when I want not when someone who isn't paying me tells me I can!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    newmanae, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 5:36am

    Just one more example....

    Just one more example of a business misunderstanding modern marketing. Dollar signs cloud their vision as they survey this vast cash cow we call the internet. There's a beleif that people will pay and pay and pay for entertainment ( cable, internet, dvds, cds). We pay for the cable, so suerely we'll pay for the downloads. We buy the cds, pay for the concerts, pay for the Sirius, so surely we'll pay for the dowloads. We pay at the theaters, buy the dvds..... you get the idea. There is a limit what idle entertainment is worth and a lot of companys will be hurt trying to squeeze blood from this turnip.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    mike, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 6:49am

    money,money,money

    the reason you can watch cable TV for the still relatively low price and still get as much content as you do is because of advertising this is why they are not allowing the content on youtube anymore there afraid to many people will stop watching the show on tv and just watch it on youtube therefore never seeing the ads. If you watch it on comedy central website or on tv there is at least a good chance you will see the ads.
    it all boils down to money like normal
    mike

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Cleverboy, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 8:27am

    Yikes.

    These "articles" seem to always have the same bent to them. Hey, someone is giving your content away, and you're upset about it?? God, don't you realize its free advertisement?? Get with it! This is good for you. Nevermind the fact that you are making episodes available through iTunes and other outlets for SALE... this is free... um... advertisment for stuff people... um, might NOT have bought anyway.

    Eh. Should we all going around sounding like an infante terrible? Pounding our tables with our spoons until we get what we want without earning it (whether purchase or gift)? 5 years from now, what will be the next crop of "gimme", virtual mug material, who's makers just don't "get it". Maybe Ford should be giving away most of its cars for free as advertisement. God! Get with it, Ford! No wonder your company is in the shitter. Goodness knows, wanting it real bad, makes the creator of said object an evil despot with no soul for not giving it to us how we like it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Mike (profile), Oct 29th, 2006 @ 1:23pm

      Re: Yikes.

      These "articles" seem to always have the same bent to them. Hey, someone is giving your content away, and you're upset about it?? God, don't you realize its free advertisement?? Get with it! This is good for you.

      Hmm. That's not quite what we're saying, so I apologize if I haven't been clear. The point is that it *is* helping them to grow their market, and that it's short sighted to think otherwise.

      . Nevermind the fact that you are making episodes available through iTunes and other outlets for SALE... this is free... um... advertisment for stuff people... um, might NOT have bought anyway.

      Now, we're not ignoring that at all. Our point is that the potential to use it as free advertisement won't just outweigh the ability to sell it overtime, but as other video producers recognize this, any site that still tries to charge for videos will get a smaller and smaller segment of the market.


      Eh. Should we all going around sounding like an infante terrible? Pounding our tables with our spoons until we get what we want without earning it (whether purchase or gift)? 5 years from now, what will be the next crop of "gimme", virtual mug material, who's makers just don't "get it".


      Again, as I've said probably a thousand times, this has nothing to do with a sense of entitlement, and everything to do with recognizing where the market is going so that these guys don't get run over by the bus that is the market.

      Maybe Ford should be giving away most of its cars for free as advertisement. God! Get with it, Ford! No wonder your company is in the shitter. Goodness knows, wanting it real bad, makes the creator of said object an evil despot with no soul for not giving it to us how we like it.

      Again, apparently I have done a bad job explaining this, or you don't actually want to read what we wrote. The point is that if the marginal cost is zero, the economics tells you that price will eventually be zero. That's not true in the case of cars, so, no, we would never say that Ford needs to give away cars for free.

      You see? What we're talking about here is basic economics. We support it with actual economic points. It's not whining about getting something for free, and it's got nothing to do with what's "good" or "bad" or "moral" or not. It's simply a recognition of what the economics makes clear the market direction is -- along with some suggestions on how to capture that market.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Cleverboy, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 2:53pm

        Re: Re: Yikes.

        "The point is that if the marginal cost is zero, the economics tells you that price will eventually be zero. That's not true in the case of cars, so, no, we would never say that Ford needs to give away cars for free."

        I understand what you're saying, and yes, the Ford comparison is both facetious BUT it is also relevant. As corporations have been slow to SUE companies like YouTube, it's clear that runaway hits like the Lazy Sunday video and results like those from "Nobody is Watching" have gotten positive industry attention.

        The problem inevitably surfaces however, that an entire industry can be destroyed if the process of adopting new technological paradigms is not entered into "correctly". What determines "correct"? Results. Results are measured by goals, and presumably center around total revenue and return on investment. If ABC.com has found its online offerings to be fantastically successful, why would they risk those results by allowing the same content to be available from another website that does not earn them revenue? Moreover, on entry into the deal with Apple, ABC met with storms of protests from its network affiliates, due to the possibility that the viewing audience (and thus Neilsens, and commercial revenue) might be adversely impacted by next-day-releases of certain programming (a fear that would not be totally unfounded).

        Depending on the demographic of course, these are real legal and logistical concerns. Allowing viewers to simply upload and publish any copyrighted content they like at any time, available globally... cuts right to the core of a very complex set of business interests. This becomes even more relevant in Q1 2007, if Apple succeeds in bringing Internet streamed content to the television, as the current trends imply that digital downloads will begin to encroach upon the territory of terrestrial/digital television.

        If customers by and large, begin to expect "non-commercial" FREE versions of a particular shows on services like YouTube, uploaded by their peers with NO regard for approval or compensation, suddenly the creator's main avenue for revenue and business agreements, become distorted as the unofficial unendorsed model begins to gain momentum. Can these "free" outlets actually "satisfy demand? Could other demands be satisfied more easily than today by illegal physical media vendors, using the same online sources?

        There stands, undeniably, the law of unintended consequences. With billions of dollars riding on the future, I don't believe that "caution" and "control" are words that should be excluded from any content distributors vocabulary.

        One might make the assumption that the potential audience for any content is infinite, but I would bet for every company that thought free giveaways were a good idea, even where cost is neglible... there are a dozen that paid a hefty price for very little gain.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    PJ, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 9:01am

    TV Sucks

    Television sucks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 11:51am

    Waaaaa!!!! I can't get stuff for free!!! Waaa!!! I can't get what I want, when I want it!!! Waaaa!!! Big businesses are evil because they're not catering to me! Waaaaa!!!!!!!!! Mommy help!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 1:48pm

    OK, I'm sick and tired of all of this "hey, it's free advertisement!" nonsense. With all of this "free advertisement" going on you'd think that Hollywood would be in better shape than ever. But it's not. The so-called "free advertising" does NOT lead to sales, it forfiets them. Ditto for the music industry.

    People are so hypocritical and so in denial. They download a zillion things illegally, then buy a tiny handful at retail (CDs, DVDs, legal downloads, etc.) and say "see? I told you this free advertising would lead to sales!" Totally ignoring the fact that they get 99% of the stuff for free and pay for *maybe* 1%. Stop rationalizing. Stop making excuses. Stop living in denial. People have a right to earn a living from things they make. And they have a right to license it to various distribution channels. I could make the greatest movie ever made but only let three friends watch it. That's life. Sorry.

    And again, for the hard of reading, IT'S NOT NECESSARILY UP TO COMEDY CENTRAL!!! THEY MOST LIKELY DON'T EVEN HAVE THE LICENSE RIGHTS TO ALLOW THE STUFF TO STAY UP ON YOUTUBE!!! So stop complaining about them until you know the facts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Mike (profile), Oct 29th, 2006 @ 2:57pm

      Re:

      The so-called "free advertising" does NOT lead to sales, it forfiets them. Ditto for the music industry.

      That's because they're advertising the wrong thing. They shouldn't be advertising the CD.

      Totally ignoring the fact that they get 99% of the stuff for free and pay for *maybe* 1%.

      Ok, this is totally missing the point. On the 99% there's a good chance they never would have heard of it anyway without being able to download it. See, by giving away the music for free, it expands the market of what people can listen to and opens up lots of new avenues for these bands and labels to make a lot more money.

      People have a right to earn a living from things they make

      Yup, and if the market tells them their product is worth $0, then they need to figure out how to sell something else. If I make little statues that no one wants to pay any money for, then it turns out I *don't* have "a right to earn a living from the things they make." The market tells you whether or not you can make a living. If it says you can't then you need to change what we're selling.

      All we're saying is that the market is moving towards what basic economics says it should be, where price equals marginal cost. Thus, if you're in the industry, you need to adjust, or you'll be out of business.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Lee, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 2:45pm

    YuyTube

    I knew when Google took over this site they would start banning most anything.Say goodby to anouther good idea!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2006 @ 5:08pm

    re: Mike

    No Mike, YOU'RE missing the point. Music has been freely available online now for 10 years or so. What is the result of all this free advertising? Where's the money? The "free advertising experiment" has been going on for 10 years, and the result is that sales have fallen, not increased.

    Please understand, I'm all for giving away SOME music. For example, pick one or two songs on an album and put them out there for free as advertising. But how is putting entire albumbs online going to engender huge sales? Can you please explain that mechanism?

    As for your comment about the market telling artists that their product is worth $0, well, that's just silly. If something is available for free, people will take it, whether it's music or a car or a house-- not because they think it's worth nothing, but because they can get it for nothing. People pay for things because they can't get them for free. I do understand about market value, but illegally downloading free music sidesteps that issue. People aren't saying the music isn't worth ten bucks, they're saying they don't have to spend the ten bucks. There's a big difference. If CD sales had been falling off drastically before the advent of downloading then it might be inferred that people didn't feel they were worth the money.

    As for marginal cost, I don't think you have a clue how much it costs to put out an album. Are there some people or groups that can put them out cheaply? Sure. But they're an exception. How do you do a classical album cheaply? Just because the distribution method (CDs or downloads) is inexpensive doesn't mean the cost of creating it is minimal. I, for one, don't want to have every movie I see be a $20,000 cheapie just because those are the only ones that can make money. Here's a better idea: Don't steal.

    If albums, movies, etc. are made on the super cheap, how are people supposed to make a living? Where's the incentive to do it? If the financial returns are so small that only ultra-low budget projects can get made, then no one's going to want to do it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Mike (profile), Oct 29th, 2006 @ 8:58pm

      Re: re: Mike

      Music has been freely available online now for 10 years or so. What is the result of all this free advertising? Where's the money? The "free advertising experiment" has been going on for 10 years, and the result is that sales have fallen, not increased.

      Well, first of all, music has really only been widely available for free for 7 years, but beyond that... the problem is that the industry has still been unable to embrace it. That is, they still haven't figured out how to use that free music to their advantage. That's why there's a problem.

      An aggregate fall in sales is actually meaningless for a variety of reasons. First of all, studies have shown that the reason CD sales have fallen have had to do with many external factors, including a recession (you remember?) as well as a lot more competition for the entertainment dollar.

      But, more importantly, CD sales is meaningless, because the whole damn point of what we've been trying to explain is that they shouldn't think of themselves as selling CDs any more, but selling a variety of things having to do with the band.

      The bands that *have* embraced this (many of which we've discussed here) have found that their revenue (not necessarily CD sales, but overall revenue) has gone way up.

      As for your comment about the market telling artists that their product is worth $0, well, that's just silly. If something is available for free, people will take it, whether it's music or a car or a house-- not because they think it's worth nothing, but because they can get it for nothing.

      Again, you miss my point (or I explained poorly). I'm not talking about unauthroized downloads at all. I'm talking about the musicians who embrace this and realize they should give away their music. What happens then is that as more musicians embrace this, the ones who don't will be priced out of the market. It's called competition.

      As for marginal cost, I don't think you have a clue how much it costs to put out an album.

      And apparently you have no clue what marginal cost is. I actually am acutely aware of how much it costs to put out an album, but I'm also quite aware that that's a *FIXED* cost, not marginal one.


      If albums, movies, etc. are made on the super cheap, how are people supposed to make a living? Where's the incentive to do it? If the financial returns are so small that only ultra-low budget projects can get made, then no one's going to want to do it.


      Again, you've confused two things. One is that the market is going to force this to happen one way or the other, and the second is that there are plenty of other business models that will allow musicians and movie makers to make MORE money. We've gone over them a thousand times around here, so go make use of the search engine and figure it out.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    hamid, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 4:13am

    lets go somewhere else

    I only got to know the daily Show from youtube .. shows it does widen the audience. I'd be happy to watch an ad before it so I could see it ... why do they make it so difficult ??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    from the Computer, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 3:57pm

    get a job and stop begging for freebee's

    just buy a calble subscription and get tivo...to see all your programs...better yet skip tv, video clips and learn how to read

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Chris G, Nov 15th, 2006 @ 6:02pm

    I used to watch Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show every day on you tube and occasionally on TV when I could. but now that I can't watch it much on youtube anymore I have rarely ever had any interest in either show so never really cared to. Face it people YouTube WAS the future until they started doing this crap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    meels, Mar 14th, 2007 @ 9:16pm

    just go to comedycentral.com and you can see all the clips you want...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This