Silliest Argument Ever: Just Because A YouTube Paywall Launches It Means More Money Is Made

from the myths-myths-and-more-myths dept

On Tuesday, as rumors were spreading about YouTube's plans to launch a paywall we reminded folks that Google had actually tried this twice before and no one paid. On Thursday, the folks at HuffPost Live had me join a video panel discussing this. What we didn't realize was at the very moment we were talking about it, YouTube had officially launched the program. You can see the discussion below, where I play the role of the lone dissenter who argues that this is a dumb idea:
What annoys me about this is that everyone else was making the same silly arguments that were debunked over and over again on the newspaper side -- that paywalls lead to a higher quality product and more investment into the content. That's not true if no one pays. It's a pretty simple equation: if you, say, get 10 subscribers for $2/month, that's $20/month. That's not that much money. If you can make more than that in advertising, then you're better off advertising. Yet, time and time again in the video above you see people claim that it's somehow automatic that putting up a paywall will mean "more money" and "the end of free content" or "profits so that more investment can happen in video."

All of that makes a huge assumption: that enough people will actually subscribe. Yet there's simply no basis for it, and yet people kept claiming it over and over again as if it had to be true. But we know it's not necessarily true, because we've already seen Google try exactly the same thing. Hell, let's take a look at the original Google Video, launched about six years ago, with a similar subscription offering:
And now let's look at the new YouTube pay channels:
It's basically the same thing, though, I'd argue that the original Google Video had even more brand name content. In 2010, when Google tried the exact same thing with YouTube, over the course of 10 days, they only got $10,000. I'm not against experimenting. And I'm not against models where people pay -- I think things like Netflix and Spotify and the like are really interesting business models. But, those work because of different factors: mainly a combination of convenience and a ton of content all together. People are paying for those because of the completeness of the offering. Here, people are being asked to spend between $1 and $10 per month for a single channel of content. It may work for a few specialized shows: Game of Thrones? Yeah, sure. But not many others.

This idea that people paying directly is the only "real" business model is just silly. The guy who did a video comment during the panel discussion who seemed to argue that this was necessary because it's "capitalism" doesn't understand economics. A bad business model is a bad business model.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 10:34am

    Terrible idea. The simple fact that they have used geo-location blocks on content, either by their decision or that of the content provider, only opens up more option to pirate, not pay.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Jessie (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 10:40am

    It's really very simple for the media companies.

    If it works, it's capitalism. If it fails, it's because of piracy and we need new laws to make sure it works.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Beech, May 10th, 2013 @ 11:10am

      Response to: Jessie on May 10th, 2013 @ 10:40am

      If it fails, its because of piracy. If it is successful, it would have been more successful if it weren't for those thrice damned pirates! Either way, we need more copyright!

      FTFY

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Jessie (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

        Re: Response to: Jessie on May 10th, 2013 @ 10:40am

        Eh, we both know it won't succeed. If it looks successful, the media companies will pull their content and try to create their own service so they can get all of the revenue. They are just letting Youtube do the market research for them.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    So when is Google gonna make a deal that's going to up my cap on the amount of internet I can react with? I'm sure not gonna pay twice for a single ability.

    They can keep their walled garden and pay for content. Somehow I've managed to truck right along without it all these years. I doubt that is gonna change just because they put up a paywall.

    Bob might like it though.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 10:49am

    The very notion that free stuff is going away is silly. Free is an amazing way to direct people to your paid content. There's also the freemium concept. And honestly why a single business model has to be the definitive answer? Why can't you mix more than one?

    Also, the model is already a success for Youtube itself. The customers are already there, the ad revenue is already being generated. It'll be just an extra cherry topping that will get some extra in for Youtube. The question is if the paywall option will be a success to the owners of those paid channels.

    As for those already yelling that paywalls = more money just ask for numbers and proper evidence. Even the apparent successes may actually be failures: what if by maintaining a free model you'd have 2, 2 times the eyeballs and you could be making much, much more than with your paywall? Speaking of which, do we have any study comparing similar businesses that went paid/remained free for comparison?

     

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

  •  
    icon
    jameshogg (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    Paywalls do little to stop people from getting what they want without paying, are easy to walk around with the use of proxies, waste everybody's time and effort, and are fundamentally futile and self-ridiculing.

    In fact, they are just about as useful as the U.S.'s Mexican border fence.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      bob, May 10th, 2013 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      The US/Mexican border may be porous but it sure does much of what it is supposed to do.

      And paywalls do stop theft. They already do a good job with appstore users and they'll eventually colonize the rest of freetopia.

      Kim Dotcom may be able to drag this out, but he's already discouraging people from following in his footsteps.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        jameshogg (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 1:00pm

        Re: Re:

        You may be opening doors with me if you said there are some costs required for the storage of data. For example, Dropbox, MediaFire, MegaUpload, etc all have fees of their own; specifically for the speed of downloads and for the uploading of large files. There has to be money involved somewhere for hosting servers.

        That I think is legitimate. But what I cannot see being sensible is trying to use these costs to guard the IP solely. That is quite different from the storage of data. If what you say is true, that paywalls are inevitable for one reason or another, you have still said nothing about how to stop the piracy of the internet.

         

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

      •  
        icon
        Rikuo (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

        Re: Re:

        "And paywalls do stop theft."

        I'll bite. How? When? For the sake of argument, let's agree that copyright infringement = theft (which I don't agree with at all, but let's roll with it). Can you point to ONE single example of a paywall that succeeded in stopping theft?

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 1:21pm

        Re: Re:

        Kim Dotcom may be able to drag this out, but he's already discouraging people from following in his footsteps.

        The discouraging is being done by the RIAA and MPAA.

         

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, May 10th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    "where I play the role of the lone dissenter"???

    ARE you just "playing a role", Mike? When you use that phrase instead of "I was", readers can ONLY take you literally. -- And I do.

    Anyhoo, the point is Mike discovers that quality (or at least quantity) can support a paywall! -- Have you given up disparaging all paywalls? (I posted a link last time that proves they're working.) Or is this piece part of the concession?

    Again on this topic, you've left out giving your position: is Youtube currently flopping and must raise revenue, or going to flop specifically on this paywall, or are you just writing up a fantasy victory after you lost in the actual discussion?

     

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

    •  
      icon
      gorehound (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 10:56am

      Re: "where I play the role of the lone dissenter"???

      I will not pay to go on youtube.If it ever comes down to that then I will be gone.And the Content I have for Free on youtube is all Mirrored since I host it myself on my Web Domain.
      I will never charge others for my Art.And I will never pay for youtube !!!

      www.bigmeathammer.com
      Sharing is Caring ! Everything is Free at my Domain !

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Ninja (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 11:10am

      Re: "where I play the role of the lone dissenter"???

      Mike is criticizing the implementation of paywalls as he has been doing for a while.

      Anyhoo, the point is Mike discovers that quality (or at least quantity) can support a paywall! -- Have you given up disparaging all paywalls? (I posted a link last time that proves they're working.) Or is this piece part of the concession?

      I noticed you ignored that Google tried the same thing before. Twice. And both failed. Not that it will flop this time. It all depends on how they are going to be implemented. But with the proposed pricing it's probably going to be a success only to a few top channles that produce a lot of content....

      Again on this topic, you've left out giving your position: is Youtube currently flopping and must raise revenue, or going to flop specifically on this paywall, or are you just writing up a fantasy victory after you lost in the actual discussion?

      Is Google flopping? I don't think so. And they maintained Youtube even though it produced only losses for years. Now it is profitable by itself. So no, Youtube is going well.

      Is it going to flop on this paywall? Not really, Youtube does not depend on this project. Will the channels flop? Probably quite a few.

      As for the last attack it's laughable. There's no winner or loser in that discussion. There is a lot of bs flying (as in saying that paywalls mean more money without any evidence supporting it) but only future will tell how it'll play out before any conclusions can be drawn. Many paywalls flopped already proving Mike's point, some survived (also proving Mike's point since he never said paywalls are all bad but rather they should be carefully implemented). Your point?

       

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
       
      identicon
      bob, May 10th, 2013 @ 12:46pm

      Re: "where I play the role of the lone dissenter"???

      Mike doesn't have a position per se. His job is to bolster the Google business model He's in a bit of a quagmire here since he's been badmouthing paywalls but now Google is signalling that paywalls are the new path. He'll find a way to do the contortionism. He's already switched sides to celebrate Louis CK, the great paywaller, and he'll find a way here.

      Eventually he'll start saying, "HBO proved that paywalls are a great way to fund premium content..." He'll stop saying, "There's no basis..."

      It will happen.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Rikuo (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 1:12pm

        Re: Re: "where I play the role of the lone dissenter"???

        "His job is to bolster the Google business model"

        You do realize that Youtube is OWNED by Google? If Mike were a shill for Google, he'd be praising the premium channel plan. He wouldn't be criticizing it.
        It's been explained to you before, but Louis CK DID NOT HAVE A PAYWALL. You constantly trot out an incorrect definition of what a paywall is.

         

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

      •  
        icon
        JMT (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 3:27pm

        Re: Re: "where I play the role of the lone dissenter"???

        "His job is to bolster the Google business model...

        He's already switched sides to celebrate Louis CK, the great paywaller...

        It will happen."


        You must be an absolute hit in moon landing denial discussion groups.

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 4:48pm

        Re: Re: "where I play the role of the lone dissenter"???

        Bob, as always: you have no idea what a paywall is.

         

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

    •  
      identicon
      Loki, May 10th, 2013 @ 12:52pm

      Re: "where I play the role of the lone dissenter"???

      Do you write the stupid that comes out of your mouth yourself, or do you work off of an outline provided by your employers? Either way, I'm guessing you get paid pretty well.

      Unfortunately, the vast majority of your rhetoric rarely has much to do with the discussions at hand. Even a dissenting voice can be useful if it actually has something to do with the topic of discussion.

      I'd suggest you try it sometime, but that would mean you'd actually have to know what the hell your talking about.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        harbingerofdoom (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

        Re: Re: "where I play the role of the lone dissenter"???

        oppositional defiant disorder is what the actual problem is.

         

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2013 @ 2:34am

        Re: Re: "where I play the role of the lone dissenter"???

        yes, I too was curious as what Masnick's performance would be like, having to 'think on his feet' and respond to real live questions.

        His performance, could only be rated as 'poor' to horrible.

        Did he address the issues, no.. Did he manage to articulate an alternative opinion... no..

        Did he mindlessly repeat his usual mantra and hope for the best.. YES..

        was masnick the token 'kook' that they get to present the 'stupid' side of the argument, and flatly deny reality??

        Seems like it.

        Did Masnick manage to provide any form of convincing argument to support his 'opinion' ... NO.

        But you did manage to show that you are a pasty faced, stupid looking comb over guy, who clearly does not get out much.. .. you know. in the real world..

        Masnick, you need to watch that video 100 times, and get an understanding of how massively outclassed you were, and how out of your depth, and detached from reality you have become.

         

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

    •  
      icon
      JMT (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 3:30pm

      Re: "where I play the role of the lone dissenter"???

      "ARE you just "playing a role", Mike? When you use that phrase instead of "I was", readers can ONLY take you literally. -- And I do."

      No, you're the only one around here stupid enough to take an obviously humorous phrase literally.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    Video problems

    I can't get the embedded video to play. Is there a copy on YouTube?

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Gwiz (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 11:10am

      Re: Video problems

      I can't get the embedded video to play. Is there a copy on YouTube?

      It's on the "Stuff We Really Don't Want You To See" channel. The subscription price is only a mere $10,000/month.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 9:52pm

      Re: Video problems

      LMFAO! Funniest comment I've read in a couple of months.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    I've been using Youtube since it's inception eight years ago. For all that time, it's been free. Now, they want me to pay? Sorry, but Youtube, you've trained me too well to like the free content.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      yaga (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 11:08am

      Re:

      But it doesn't look like they are asking you to pay for "Youtube," just those additional channels. Youtube isn't going away. To me it's like a Netflix within Youtube. If I see 3 or 4 good shows I might subscribe and if I don't I'll keep watching everything else I like to watch on Youtube.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Ninja (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 11:15am

        Re: Re:

        That. I just think the pricing is overboard. But maybe there will be the sane ones that will charge symbolic prices (ie: $0,50 or less) and may get some decent revenue from it- 100k subscribers at $0,1 per month would yield quite the income for any less famous artist, no?).

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 11:33am

        Re: Re:

        What's the betting those shows are all on different channels?

         

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

  •  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 11:04am

    The message shown at around the 10 min, about "You can still watch your cat videos for free" just offends me. The implication there is, that on Youtube, there's only the low-quality no-intelligence-required cat videos. There's not. There's vast swathes of great videos, from reviewers to whole educational lessons.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      nasch (profile), May 11th, 2013 @ 7:27pm

      Re:

      The implication there is, that on Youtube, there's only the low-quality no-intelligence-required cat videos. There's not. There's vast swathes of great videos, from reviewers to whole educational lessons.

      Not to mention the high quality cat videos.

      What?

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    "It's a pretty simple equation: if you, say, get 10 subscribers for $2/month, that's $20/month. That's not that much money. If you can make more than that in advertising, then you're better off advertising."

    And if you can sell those 10 subscriber's eyeballs looking at the screen to 100 advertisers over the course of that month, advertising will always make more.

    People will subscribe to a channel as a one off. If they pay for a month of a show they will watch all of that show that the channel as to offer and then drop it and move to a different channel.

    This decision may be partially based off the claims that people want Ala-cart pricing on cable. The truth is if cable allowed that then hundreds of channels would not be supported.

    As much as I dislike advertising, the drive of advertisers to push their product to people will always be stronger than the desire of individuals to part with their hard earned income. Advertising works to pay for content delivery because of this. I don't know if it always will, but I don't see subscriptions being the replacement. If they were crazy eyed Glenn Beck would be happy to be on the Internet only, instead of trying to get cable and satellite carriers to pick up his ... umm content.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Ninja (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 11:17am

      Re:

      As much as I dislike advertising

      I might pay for an ads-free experience but that's a big might. My youtube usage is not that high.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        John Fenderson (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 11:54am

        Re: Re:

        Yes. What I generally won't do is pay money for something that also gives me ads. There are exceptions. Sometimes I'll buy an issue of a magazine that interests me, or a newspaper, for example.

        Cable TV, however, is not such an exception. I don't go that road, regardless of whether the "cable TV" is actually cable, or is YouTube or whoever. If Netflix started showing ads, I would absolutely cancel my subscription.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 11:30am

    It will fail like the last time. There's plenty of free content on youtube. I mean people like Psy made a fortune on a video anyone can watch. Honestly though these pay for channels had better have really good content. Why should I watch Eric Striffler for $1.99 when I could watch smosh, ect for complely free. Even without youtube there's plenty of video sites with stuff people care.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    AdamR (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 11:39am

    Mike you deserve a medal for that performance, if that was me i would three stooges slap that whole group. I was shocked by the answers that were given and left me with the impression that they were clueless or just paid shills. The ideal that we need to be trained to pay for content is offensive. We already pay for content two to three times over.

     

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    bob, May 10th, 2013 @ 11:53am

    Paywall!!!

    First Google. Then BitTorrent. Paywalls everywhere! TechDirt will be the last to see the light.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    horse with no name, May 10th, 2013 @ 12:10pm

    One potential logic error:

    if you, say, get 10 subscribers for $2/month, that's $20/month. That's not that much money. If you can make more than that in advertising, then you're better off advertising.

    Take this from the standpoint of Youtube: The surfer is not going away. The $2 a month or advertising question is misleading, because Youtube will still have tons and tons of free content, and the surfers will continue to do the same. From their standpoint, any money earned through a pay system is a plus and bonus to the bottom line. Surfers will not just turn off their computer and stop because they hit a paywall on a small part of the YouTube universe.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 12:20pm

      Re: One potential logic error:

      No, but it is likely that at least 98 out of 100 surf away again, while 1 percent are trying to cheat their way around the wall. A small fraction of the rest will like what they think they see and subscribe. They need a lot a advertisement to turn even 5 % from free users to paying users.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      nasch (profile), May 11th, 2013 @ 7:30pm

      Re: One potential logic error:

      From their standpoint, any money earned through a pay system is a plus and bonus to the bottom line.

      If they're showing ads to the payers, yes. If not then any time they spend on the site viewing premium content is time lost to advertising.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 12:10pm

    the media companies don't seem to care as much about their bottom line as they do just trying to extract money from consumers. I guess it's to get back at people for pirating. they'll leave dollars on the table to go after pennies from the pauper's pocket.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Vincent Giannell, May 10th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    Someone should file a protest against this program and get the guy who came up with this idea to shut it down.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 12:28pm

    I guess the question is, what exactly is this paywall for?

    Are they trying to put TV and movies on youtube? If so, it's simply a service parallel to youtube-as-we-know-it, much like netflix, hulu or what have you. Whether or not it succeeds isn't really something that concerns me. Best of luck to you.

    Are they trying to get the current free channels to go behind the paywall? Well, this is something different. I follow several channels, most of them related to gaming or astronomy (I'm a nerd.) I found them because they were free, as did just about everyone else. I follow them because they are free, and I suspect so do many others. Should channels like this try to go behind the paywall, they will have a brutal awakening: their fanbase will be upset, the view count will drop dramasticly, new followers will be about as common as medieval castles on the moon as they are now locked up and their following is plummeting, and profits will eventually (if not immediately) drop. Eventually, they will have to get out from under the paywall, and when they do, they will find that their former customers have gone elsewhere.

    There's room for pay-to-view content, but let us hope youtube doesn't try to convince every Joe that this is the way to go.

    Why do I go to youtube, instead of netflix or hulu? Because I'm not looking for "professional" edited content with a hefty price tag; I'm looking for something a bit more personal without a price tag.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      bob, May 10th, 2013 @ 12:48pm

      Re:

      What exactly is this paywall for? To let the viewers share the development costs with more than just their eyeballs. It lets them pay real money to support the artists instead of just watching another dumb ad. It's better in every way.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Christopher Best (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 12:38pm

    I still say it could work

    As a "paywall", I agree, these subscription channels are doomed. But they don't have to be a paywall.

    Instead, you could have something like "Geek and Sundry Insider" that gives you early access to content, back-stage and/or making of, etc. to dedicated followers of the FREE channel who would like to show their support and get a little something more. I pay $5/mo for one "channel" of content here, so I don't see how paying $2/mo for additional access to a great YouTube channel is that far fetched.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      AdamR (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 12:52pm

      Re: I still say it could work

      Then you would be one of the few out of many that watch that channel that would pay for it. I wouldn't if they wanted or needed to make some cash for whatever they needed then just sell scarcity. (Hope i got the spelling right)

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 12:47pm

    I wonder if the channel offering Cuba TV is even legal and if YouTube will not run afoul of the Trading With The Enemy Act for offering Cuban TV.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 1:02pm

    Replacing cable

    I think YouTube is hoping ultimately to replace cable. It is already into broadband.

    One thing YouTube has to do is to prove to content creators that it can compensate them better than other options. YouTube tried funding exclusive content studios, but that hasn't produced any blockbuster content and the creators have complained that they aren't making enough money from YouTube advertising. (What some of those studios are doing now is going directly to companies to sponsor them rather than having those companies pass through YouTube.)

    YouTube seems to want to expand beyond user-generated content available for free.

    If paying studios for original content hasn't been working to everyone's satisfaction, then finding a way to compensate places with a deep library of already created content was probably the next step.

    Will it work? I don't know, but if YouTube is targeting cable TV, then it already has a model that has worked and the company may feel it is worth trying yet again.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 1:17pm

      Re: Replacing cable

      The big discussion everywhere (and it has always been such since the early days of the WWW) seems to be that advertising alone doesn't support content creators. There's just not enough advertising to go around and there are constantly new places for it.

      It's not surprising that all forms of media keep coming back to trying to find ways for content users to pay for it, whether through crowdfunding, subscriptions, etc.

      The alternative to advertising and users paying for content appears to be data collection, which has its own downsides (i.e. invasion of privacy). If people won't pay, you compile information on them and sell that.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    AdamR (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

    "I think YouTube is hoping ultimately to replace cable"

    That's a very dangerous game and one that they might win short term but will lose quickly. If lets say CBS decides to put up a YouTube channel(s) and charge X amount per month for it how long before they start demanding more money or just say F.U. and start their own system run which they have full control of?

    "One thing YouTube has to do is to prove to "content creators" that it can compensate them better than other options."

    This whole content creator thing strikes a raw never in me. You mean content "distributors", "licencí", "litigator's" "conglomerates"

    Many real content creators are making money on YouTube already or just using YouTube as a jumping point to many other things.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

      Re:

      Many real content creators are making money on YouTube already or just using YouTube as a jumping point to many other things.

      Not as much as people think, which is why they are looking elsewhere.

      YouTube can be helpful launching careers, but once that visibility is there, many look beyond YouTube for money.

      I could pull quite a few articles quoting YouTube stars who say their ad payouts aren't as big as people think. I've saved every article on the subject that I see. Here's one that might be a good overview.

      I honestly don't care what YouTube does, but for whatever its reason, it wants to move beyond what it is currently doing. Apparently in YouTube's mind, this is worth a try.

      YouTube Execs Talk Up Paid-Subscription Channels - Digits - WSJ

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Jay (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 2:04pm

    How disappointing

    For me, I watched that video and I was disappointed in the misinformation being thrown around.

    I'm glad you fought back, Mike, on certain points. But how is the media mogul going to tell me that NYT isn't a paywall that you can easily avoid?

    I hate paywalls and when I go on Youtube, I've seen the previews of some of the channels, and I can say, I hate it. If the content is released first on one channel, then the next, that may be okay. But to lock up content and believe that people will pay for it is the same as Isaac Newton locking up his physics notes and hoping innovation won't happen. It doesn't work. Either people will enjoy and pay for it if they have money for support, or they enjoy your work for the eyeballs.

    Then to turn on your audience by wanting more than time is really a harsh investment to make. I noticed that most everyone treated the public as if they're stupid (particularly our "content creator") by saying "well, since they're kids, they won't understand this stuff."

    Newsflash: Those kids are the next generation of content creators, aggregators, and consumers of content and they have a lot more intelligence than you give them credit for. Yet the true "kids" are the ones looking for more money out of people while giving them more of the same content.

    I can't help but feel a LOT of people are going to be shown how bad their position is in regards to setting up channels as paywalls.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 4:21pm

    Well, I'm happy companies are trying to modernize themselves rather than just dying along with cable TV. But as it stands, this paid channel thing seems lacking. There's no list of available shows, and most of the shows I'd want to watch aren't present.

    The Jim Henson channel is a good example. If I could pay $3 a month to have complete access to every episode of The Muppet Show, uncut and commercial-free, I'd probably sign up. Nothing like that is available, though; only 23 episodes of Fraggle Rock (which had 96 episodes), and one of those weird preschooler shows.

    Still, it's been out for less than a week. Maybe over time they'll expand their lineup and improve the interface.

     

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 5:39pm

    Jesus, either get some Rogaine or lose the front comb-over Baldy. Oh, some occasional sunlight might be something to consider.

     

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
       
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2013 @ 1:11am

      Re:

      and the first words out of Mick the nick's mouth ??

      A, Wah, ta, ne, ek, uh, oh, t t t Wer, ni, ber....

      We'll call him from now on "articulate Mick".

      A word of advice, next time you are asked to do something, where you have to think on your feet, and are required to give something more than your mantra.... DON'T.

      You ability to express yourself in person is limited.

      and yea, lose the comb over, and get some sun !!!!

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Zeissmann (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 6:02pm

    Why not?

    So... why isn't this HuffPost video behind a paywall?

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Beta (profile), May 10th, 2013 @ 6:30pm

    conclusions

    Mr Hosein has convinced me that I don't want to pay the University of Washington for the privilege of attending his Digital Media Program, I cannot understand why anyone would hire Dan Safkow as a "video marketing strategist", and that short clip of "Pretty Much It" makes me wish that they would move their show behind the paywall so that I wouldn't run the risk of seeing any more of it by accident.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2013 @ 10:23pm

    All of that makes a huge assumption: that enough people will actually subscribe. Yet there's simply no basis for it

    Netflix, spotify

    All of that makes a huge assumption: that enough people will actually subscribe. Yet there's simply no basis for it, and yet people kept claiming it over and over again as if it had to be true. But we know it's not necessarily true

    Netflix, Spotify

    Yet there's simply no basis for it

    Netflix, Spotify

    So you say "nothing works" except what does clearly work, then you say

    But, those work because of different factors: mainly a combination of convenience and a ton of content all together

    So, nothing works, except of course, the ones that DO work (but lets not dwell on those shall we).

    What annoys me about this is that everyone else was making the same silly arguments that were debunked over and over again on the newspaper side

    Why bring up the Newspaper side ?? is this not a conversation about video streaming ?? in the video world as you have provided examples, it's been 'debunked' that they DO NOT work..

    Netflix, Spotify

    that paywalls lead to a higher quality product and more investment into the content. That's not true if no one pays

    So if it is not true, if no one pays, you are saying it IS true if people do pay..

    Netflix, Spotify

    All of that makes a huge assumption: that enough people will actually subscribe

    As opposed to your huge assumption: that people will not subscribe. would you like some examples where people DO subscribe ?? starting with TechDirt ?

    Netflix, Spotify

    This idea that people paying directly is the only "real" business model is just silly

    No, it's downright STUPID, probably why your the only one saying it.

    I am sure, even you Masnick are aware that is NOT the ONLY REAL BUSINESS MODEL..

    But, those work because of different factors: mainly a combination of convenience and a ton of content all together.

    so you are saying that Google Youtube is not able to combine convenience and content ?

    Why would you say such a stupid thing Masnick ?

    Oh, Google wont work where Netflix and Spotify do work because they do things very slightly differently ?? than when you expect Google will do, or progress towards ?

    People are paying for those because of the completeness of the offering. Here, people are being asked to spend between $1 and $10 per month for a single channel of content.

    Masnick, you are the last person on earth I would ask for advice on people's spending habits and reasons.

    People will pay for things they want, does not matter if it is 1 channel or a million channels, if that channel has things they are willing to pay for, they will pay for it.

    Just like with Netflix and Spotify et al.

    What annoys me about this is that everyone else was making the same silly arguments that were debunked over and over again on the newspaper side

    yet, they were upheld time and again on the video side. So comparing video streaming to Newspapers is a SILLY argument, raised by Masnick.

    But we know it's not necessarily true

    We also know it is not necessarily FALSE !!!!

    Here, people are being asked to spend between $1 and $10 per month for a single channel of content. It may work for a few specialized shows: Game of Thrones? Yeah, sure. But not many others.


    Pure supposition on your part there masnick.

    how do you know, that's right you DONT.. you are making as many assumptions (and ignoring the glaring examples of where it does work) as anyone else.. probably more so.

    where I play the role of the lone dissenter who argues that this is a dumb idea:

    role playing now ?? even wondered why you are the LONE dissenter.

    I guess you thought Netflix and Spotify were "dumb idea's" too right ??

    Or that it was a dumb idea to introduce your own form of paywall and pay for content, perks that you have introduced here on TechDirt ??

    Run many successful businesses have you Maskick ?? been an actual player ??

    Oh, you talk a lot about what everyone else is doing, making a small living of your tiny backwater hate site.

    But what have you done ?? why would anything take your advice, have you a track record with these things??

    If you do you have never displayed it here.

    Do you have detailed information about this business model, or it's future plans, if so why did you not relate them, if not why talk about it as if you are aware of their plans and it's model ?

    Do you think Netflix's model is exactly the same as it was on the day it started ? do you think companies are not able to adapt and evolve, try different things and determine what works and what does not ?

    DO you think you have some great 'insider knowledge' and 'finger on the pulse of the world' that gives you power to determine what will or will not work, without even really knowing what it is exactly ?

    Probably the reason you are the lone dissenter is your arguments are just stupid, and proven so by the many examples of you being dead wrong once again.

    Or your desire to say "it does not work for newpapers, so could not work for video".

    As you know, there are many examples of both models working as expected, and well.

    who was saying that "the only real model" is a direct pay type ??

    clearly there are as many models as people or companies decide to implement, there are many successful models, some direct pay, some not.

    so who said that, "people" ?? what people.

    It may work for a few specialized shows: Game of Thrones? Yeah, sure. But not many others.


    That assumption is based on what facts again ??

    oh, that is just what you think, an assumption if you will, a guess from someone with extensive experience in the industry.. oh wait.. with no experience in the industry..

    Sold many Crystal Balls recently Mick ?

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Beech, May 11th, 2013 @ 6:33am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on May 10th, 2013 @ 10:23pm

      How can you scream at mike for having the audacity to compare video streaming to newspapers BECAUSE THEY ARENT THE SAME, while repeatedly comparing video streaming to music streaming, which aren't the same thing?

      Further, netflix and spotify are inherently different than Google's channels. The former offer huge catalogues of just about any song you can imagine. The latter is only offering channels which carry a hand full of videos. People are willing to spend a bit on a streamable database of bajillions movies songs, but not so much for just a couple

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2013 @ 4:32am

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on May 10th, 2013 @ 10:23pm

        Sir, stop moving towards the lunatic wielding solar panels, and back away real slow-like. Or you'll catch it! I hear it's contagious!

         

        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