I was surfing around the Web today and didn't have to go far to find a quick column by Matt Asay over on CNET's "Open Road" discussing YouTube and Hulu.
In a piece entitled, "Quality pays: Hulu trumping YouTube," Asay makes the point that because of Hulu's $12 million profit, Google needs to do more with YouTube. Asay believes that Google "needs to show equal care for the [entertainment] industry's IP" and "improve quality."
Generalizations aside, I need to disagree with my colleague on what YouTube should do. Asay claims that YouTube shouldn't become Hulu, but I think that's plain wrong. Hulu is a success today not because it has high-quality programming or respects intellectual property. Hulu is a success today because all the content contained on the site is controlled and demographic data is readily available.
Rest assured that no matter how much money Google is losing on YouTube, it's well worth the cost. No matter what we may think about YouTube and its obvious issues, we can't lose sight of the fact that without all that copyrighted material, YouTube wouldn't be half as popular as it is today and whether Google wants to admit it or not, it needs those clips on there.
It's no longer a question of whether user-generated video is important -- it is -- or if it should be kept on YouTube. User-generated video is how YouTube can bring people to the site and allow it to funnel those people to professional content that Google can monetize. User-generated video isn't the key to making money, it's the professional video that matters most to advertisers.… Read more