Simon Cowell's Confusion: YouTube Should Pay; YouTube Helped Sell Millions Of Albums

from the cognitive-dissonance? dept

We were amazed a few months back when a variety of press reports started surfacing after Susan Boyle became famous via a YouTube clip, claiming what a shame it was that no one was monetizing that video. That whole thing seemed preposterous. YouTube provided free software, free hosting and free distribution and turned Susan Boyle into a world famous star, overnight. As we noted at the time, if you can't monetize that in some other manner, you don't belong in business. And, indeed, as tons of folks have reported, Susan Boyle's first album has been a massive top seller -- the best opening week selling album of the year, and the best opening for a "debut" album in sixteen years. And, yes, much of the reason that anyone knows of her existence is because of the clip on YouTube.

But would you believe that people are still complaining about YouTube's role in all of this? Rob points us to an interview with Simon Cowell, who demonstrates stunning cognitive dissonance in both slamming and praising YouTube in two contradictory consecutive sentences:
Cowell also spoke of the popularity of Susan Boyle's Britain's Got Talent audition, which saw her rendition of I Dreamed A Dream viewed 100 million times in its initial days on YouTube - without any kickback for him.

"That will change," he told GQ. Because, eventually, if YouTube are not paying, they're not getting the clip.

"But at the moment I'm very happy to get promotion around the world. She'll sell 10 million albums this year because of YouTube."
So, wait, is he upset or not? Would he have preferred that YouTube had not shown the video which it didn't pay for, and a very small number of people knew of Susan Boyle? Or is he happy that he got free hosting, free software, free bandwidth and free promotional value that helped him sell 10 million of her albums? Maybe he should be paying Google...

Filed Under: free, promotion, simon cowell, susan boyle, youtube
Companies: google, youtube


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2009 @ 12:57pm

    I think he is stating the obvious: No matter how much good youtube did for Susan Boyle, it also did good for YouTube and Google (ad sales, exposure, etc). If You Tube wants to use a copyrighted clip, they need to pay. It's a pretty simple thing.

    It doesn't matter the "good" that is done, if the "good" isn't wanted, then they don't have the right to do it.

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