What happens after Google loses?

I’ve been thinking about what happens after Google loses its $1 billion lawsuit that it’s facing at the hands of Viacom.

It’s going to take until 2008 for this to play out. So, what will late 2008 look like? Well, hundreds of millions of new video cameras will be in people’s hands between now and then. The cost of bandwidth distribution will fall at a quick rate. Amazon S3 charges right now about $.15 per gigabyte of stuff delivered. Watch what happens after Ray Ozzie jumps into the market. I bet that by late 2008 the cost per gigabyte delivered will be about 1/10th that.

Some other assumptions: audience sizes on Internet video sites will continue to grow. Right now Rocketboom is getting about 200,000-350,000 downloads per show. Maybe more (Andrew, sorry if I’m off, please post your latest numbers in my comments). But, what happens if audience sizes continue doubling every six months? That means that 18 months from now Rocketboom will have 1.6 million downloads.

I mean, that’s why we’re working with Jerry Zucker (CBS Marketwatch post), director of funny movies like “Airplane” to build National Banana (a sister company of PodTech’s that’ll focus on entertaining videos).

But, enough of the pitch about PodTech, what does Google paying a billion bucks to Viacom mean to all of us?

It means that a new market for new kinds of content are going to be opened up. Google’s not going away. It’s advertisers aren’t going away. And they’ll want new audiences to put their stuff in front of.

Viacom wants to play “force folks to play on our turf.” Does the Internet reward that kind of behavior?

It hasn’t in the past. PodTech tried that strategy. To watch my videos you used to have to go to PodTech. Then in January we let go a little bit of our controlling attitude and made a player that you can embed on your own site. What happened?

Traffic tripled.

So, if I were a smart content guy (hint, I’m not) I’d be opening my video archives and saying “post them where you want.”

If I were even smarter I’d say “cut them up, edit them, mash them, do what you want with them.” I’m not that smart either.

And, if I really were blessed with a brain like Douglas Engelbart’s I’d make video for where the big audiences are (hint: it’s YouTube, StumbleUpon, Digg, Flickr, Blogs, and search engines like Google/Yahoo/Live).

I’m not that smart, but other people in this industry are.

I predict that Ze Frank will come back with a new show sometime in 2008 (his last week of his current online show is this week — yesterday’s show was really great and tear jerking). Look at his show yesterday. Who was on it? Who was best? His fans.

Yeah, Viacom will end up with a billion bucks. Its stock price will go up temporarily, but will drop the next day as Viacom’s investors realizes that Viacom has just put itself into a box. One from which it will not escape.

The world of media is undergoing radical change.

Not only can I send my boring, long, geeky videos that no one cares about but we can do all sorts of weird stuff and show that off to the world.

Translation: Google won’t be bothered by this lawsuit at all. While Viacom will limit its audience growth, will ruin its ability to participate in this new world.

The world after the lawsuit? It sure looks like YouTube wins. Watch yesterday’s Ze Frank video again and again until YOU get it.

Viacom obviously doesn’t.

142 thoughts on “What happens after Google loses?

  1. At this time Google plays an important roll on the net. Hard to imagine it disappear, but if it would…it will definitely be replaced by another internet wonder!!

  2. At this time Google plays an important roll on the net. Hard to imagine it disappear, but if it would…it will definitely be replaced by another internet wonder!!

  3. Arrogance and intransigence, that’s what did Google in, and what will eventually kill that company, unless they stop acting like a religion and start acting like a real company.

  4. Arrogance and intransigence, that’s what did Google in, and what will eventually kill that company, unless they stop acting like a religion and start acting like a real company.

  5. Arrogance and intransigence, that’s what did Google in, and what will eventually kill that company, unless they stop acting like a religion and start acting like a real company.

  6. The original vision behind YouTube was to provide an easy way of sharing user-created videos, which, we’ve been told over and over is the whole idea behind Web 2.0: user-created content. When people started using YouTube merely as a *mainstream* method of *sharing* others’ copyrighted works, the original vision was lost. But it did make YouTube worth 1.6 billion (it wouldn’t have been worth even 1/10th of that if not for the sharing of copyrighted works). I look forward to YouTube returning to its original vision.

  7. The original vision behind YouTube was to provide an easy way of sharing user-created videos, which, we’ve been told over and over is the whole idea behind Web 2.0: user-created content. When people started using YouTube merely as a *mainstream* method of *sharing* others’ copyrighted works, the original vision was lost. But it did make YouTube worth 1.6 billion (it wouldn’t have been worth even 1/10th of that if not for the sharing of copyrighted works). I look forward to YouTube returning to its original vision.

  8. The original vision behind YouTube was to provide an easy way of sharing user-created videos, which, we’ve been told over and over is the whole idea behind Web 2.0: user-created content. When people started using YouTube merely as a *mainstream* method of *sharing* others’ copyrighted works, the original vision was lost. But it did make YouTube worth 1.6 billion (it wouldn’t have been worth even 1/10th of that if not for the sharing of copyrighted works). I look forward to YouTube returning to its original vision.

  9. A very large percentage of the world’s cell phones sold from now on will do video.

    Good point. I hadn’t considered that.

    The world is changing so fast! Sometimes it’s hard to keep up. But I suppose this is why I have subscribed to your blog –to keep up.

    Thanks for setting me straight Scoble.

    By the way, there are so many of these online video sites popping up everywhere. It seems like I see new ones every hour.

    My question to you is, which ones do you see as having a future? And don’t say all of them! Will there be competition, and what will be the deciding factors? Money? Technology? Consideration for users, advertisers?

  10. A very large percentage of the world’s cell phones sold from now on will do video.

    Good point. I hadn’t considered that.

    The world is changing so fast! Sometimes it’s hard to keep up. But I suppose this is why I have subscribed to your blog –to keep up.

    Thanks for setting me straight Scoble.

    By the way, there are so many of these online video sites popping up everywhere. It seems like I see new ones every hour.

    My question to you is, which ones do you see as having a future? And don’t say all of them! Will there be competition, and what will be the deciding factors? Money? Technology? Consideration for users, advertisers?

  11. A very large percentage of the world’s cell phones sold from now on will do video.

    Good point. I hadn’t considered that.

    The world is changing so fast! Sometimes it’s hard to keep up. But I suppose this is why I have subscribed to your blog –to keep up.

    Thanks for setting me straight Scoble.

    By the way, there are so many of these online video sites popping up everywhere. It seems like I see new ones every hour.

    My question to you is, which ones do you see as having a future? And don’t say all of them! Will there be competition, and what will be the deciding factors? Money? Technology? Consideration for users, advertisers?

  12. I think that Google’s new technologies that are emerging will be a significant growth feature in the future. A billion dollars to them is almost like your hard drive crashing. You goto Staples and buy another one. Right? You bounce back stronger than ever. Chances are your going to get something faster (mega) and perhaps even something larger. Where’s the harm and foul in that? (You lost, but now you’ve bounced back stronger…)

    Viacom can…suck it.

  13. I think that Google’s new technologies that are emerging will be a significant growth feature in the future. A billion dollars to them is almost like your hard drive crashing. You goto Staples and buy another one. Right? You bounce back stronger than ever. Chances are your going to get something faster (mega) and perhaps even something larger. Where’s the harm and foul in that? (You lost, but now you’ve bounced back stronger…)

    Viacom can…suck it.

  14. I think that Google’s new technologies that are emerging will be a significant growth feature in the future. A billion dollars to them is almost like your hard drive crashing. You goto Staples and buy another one. Right? You bounce back stronger than ever. Chances are your going to get something faster (mega) and perhaps even something larger. Where’s the harm and foul in that? (You lost, but now you’ve bounced back stronger…)

    Viacom can…suck it.

  15. Hey Scoble!

    Consider this: a few entrepreneurial individuals copy all of your content to Adword splogs. They make money of those splogs.

    You have two choices:
    1) Accept it, because that’s Web 2.0. You create the content, but someone else makes money from it. You can’t complain because it’s free exposure for your writing, and plus, you can always just publish a book or something.

    2) Sue, because as copyright owner, you’re entitled to protect your works, which includes not letting other people profit off your labor.

    That is the GooTube-Viacom dispute in a nutshell.
    (GooTube is directly analogous to the anonymous group of sploggers because they process and filter, by tags and filename, the video clips submitted to them before they put them up on the site. Then they run ads and links to related videos based on those tags.)

  16. Hey Scoble!

    Consider this: a few entrepreneurial individuals copy all of your content to Adword splogs. They make money of those splogs.

    You have two choices:
    1) Accept it, because that’s Web 2.0. You create the content, but someone else makes money from it. You can’t complain because it’s free exposure for your writing, and plus, you can always just publish a book or something.

    2) Sue, because as copyright owner, you’re entitled to protect your works, which includes not letting other people profit off your labor.

    That is the GooTube-Viacom dispute in a nutshell.
    (GooTube is directly analogous to the anonymous group of sploggers because they process and filter, by tags and filename, the video clips submitted to them before they put them up on the site. Then they run ads and links to related videos based on those tags.)

  17. Hey Scoble!

    Consider this: a few entrepreneurial individuals copy all of your content to Adword splogs. They make money of those splogs.

    You have two choices:
    1) Accept it, because that’s Web 2.0. You create the content, but someone else makes money from it. You can’t complain because it’s free exposure for your writing, and plus, you can always just publish a book or something.

    2) Sue, because as copyright owner, you’re entitled to protect your works, which includes not letting other people profit off your labor.

    That is the GooTube-Viacom dispute in a nutshell.
    (GooTube is directly analogous to the anonymous group of sploggers because they process and filter, by tags and filename, the video clips submitted to them before they put them up on the site. Then they run ads and links to related videos based on those tags.)

  18. @8 “I didn’t make the point very well.

    There’s a market for video that isn’t tightly controlled.”

    No argument there. We all know that’s the point of The Long Tail. There’s a market for everything. But that’s not the basis of the GooTube lawsuit. GooTube is using stolen content to drive eyeballs to the site. One has to ask how popular GooTube would be if it ONLY hosted online versions of “America’s Funniest Videos”, which is essentially what it started out as.

  19. @8 “I didn’t make the point very well.

    There’s a market for video that isn’t tightly controlled.”

    No argument there. We all know that’s the point of The Long Tail. There’s a market for everything. But that’s not the basis of the GooTube lawsuit. GooTube is using stolen content to drive eyeballs to the site. One has to ask how popular GooTube would be if it ONLY hosted online versions of “America’s Funniest Videos”, which is essentially what it started out as.

  20. @8 “I didn’t make the point very well.

    There’s a market for video that isn’t tightly controlled.”

    No argument there. We all know that’s the point of The Long Tail. There’s a market for everything. But that’s not the basis of the GooTube lawsuit. GooTube is using stolen content to drive eyeballs to the site. One has to ask how popular GooTube would be if it ONLY hosted online versions of “America’s Funniest Videos”, which is essentially what it started out as.

  21. There’s an old saying among trial lawyers: Don’t ask a question you don’t know the answer to.

    Napster did and got an answer they didn’t like and Napster had a better argument (they didn’t host the content, Google does). Because Napster didn’t make a deal, Napster is now the law of the land.

    Apple didn’t and as an alternative they were able to restructure the distribution of music with the blessing of artists, consumers and the big media companies (mostly).

    Hopefully for Google stockholders, they wont remake Napster’s mistake. Go read the Napster injunctions and substitute “Google” for “Napster”.

    An injunction would probably hurt You Tube/Google more than any billion dollar damage judgment ever would.

  22. There’s an old saying among trial lawyers: Don’t ask a question you don’t know the answer to.

    Napster did and got an answer they didn’t like and Napster had a better argument (they didn’t host the content, Google does). Because Napster didn’t make a deal, Napster is now the law of the land.

    Apple didn’t and as an alternative they were able to restructure the distribution of music with the blessing of artists, consumers and the big media companies (mostly).

    Hopefully for Google stockholders, they wont remake Napster’s mistake. Go read the Napster injunctions and substitute “Google” for “Napster”.

    An injunction would probably hurt You Tube/Google more than any billion dollar damage judgment ever would.

  23. There’s an old saying among trial lawyers: Don’t ask a question you don’t know the answer to.

    Napster did and got an answer they didn’t like and Napster had a better argument (they didn’t host the content, Google does). Because Napster didn’t make a deal, Napster is now the law of the land.

    Apple didn’t and as an alternative they were able to restructure the distribution of music with the blessing of artists, consumers and the big media companies (mostly).

    Hopefully for Google stockholders, they wont remake Napster’s mistake. Go read the Napster injunctions and substitute “Google” for “Napster”.

    An injunction would probably hurt You Tube/Google more than any billion dollar damage judgment ever would.

  24. Pierre: according to current law, you’re not responsible unless the content owner asks you to take it down and you don’t.

    AND you shouldnt monetize the content. The moment you start monetizing it – by placing ads in the content – you can’t hide behind DMCA

    Mark Cuban raised another interesting question – if GooTube can filter out porn proactively why are they not doing it for copyrighted content.
    The other problem Gootube might face is the stance that – copyrighted content will be removed automatically if you enter a licensing deal with them. I think this puts them on very shaky grounds. They are basically admitting that there is a problem and promise to do something is you pay.

    Also, gootube is not JUST a distribution channel. A perfect example of that would be rapidshare filehosting service. (They can rightfully use DMCA if needed. Because, they don’t advertise the content and you can’t even search for files. The only way to download a file is to know the actual url – a very complex combination of characters that cant be guessed)

  25. Pierre: according to current law, you’re not responsible unless the content owner asks you to take it down and you don’t.

    AND you shouldnt monetize the content. The moment you start monetizing it – by placing ads in the content – you can’t hide behind DMCA

    Mark Cuban raised another interesting question – if GooTube can filter out porn proactively why are they not doing it for copyrighted content.
    The other problem Gootube might face is the stance that – copyrighted content will be removed automatically if you enter a licensing deal with them. I think this puts them on very shaky grounds. They are basically admitting that there is a problem and promise to do something is you pay.

    Also, gootube is not JUST a distribution channel. A perfect example of that would be rapidshare filehosting service. (They can rightfully use DMCA if needed. Because, they don’t advertise the content and you can’t even search for files. The only way to download a file is to know the actual url – a very complex combination of characters that cant be guessed)

  26. I think you are right, and wrong, wobert Scoble!

    Google can afford to lose this – they anticipated losing about $400,000,000 in lawsuits when they aquired YouTube.

    But Viacom has little chance of becoming a great little video content clip distribution monetizer. As Cuban noted they’d be selling off their future revenue stream to cave in to YouTube’s distribution-without-clear-monetization scenario.
    Therefore they sue, and try to protect old legacy as long as they can. Legacy music has staved off all the Napsters for some time and they’ll be able to keep the old stuff going for another decade or so.

    But of course eventually the legacy models will die and good riddance to them.

  27. I think you are right, and wrong, wobert Scoble!

    Google can afford to lose this – they anticipated losing about $400,000,000 in lawsuits when they aquired YouTube.

    But Viacom has little chance of becoming a great little video content clip distribution monetizer. As Cuban noted they’d be selling off their future revenue stream to cave in to YouTube’s distribution-without-clear-monetization scenario.
    Therefore they sue, and try to protect old legacy as long as they can. Legacy music has staved off all the Napsters for some time and they’ll be able to keep the old stuff going for another decade or so.

    But of course eventually the legacy models will die and good riddance to them.

  28. I think you are right, and wrong, wobert Scoble!

    Google can afford to lose this – they anticipated losing about $400,000,000 in lawsuits when they aquired YouTube.

    But Viacom has little chance of becoming a great little video content clip distribution monetizer. As Cuban noted they’d be selling off their future revenue stream to cave in to YouTube’s distribution-without-clear-monetization scenario.
    Therefore they sue, and try to protect old legacy as long as they can. Legacy music has staved off all the Napsters for some time and they’ll be able to keep the old stuff going for another decade or so.

    But of course eventually the legacy models will die and good riddance to them.

  29. fuck viacom youtube is one of the best things that happened to the internet in a while,im from africa and getting stuff sometimes is hard but youtube hooks me up…hope viacunt will not win!

  30. fuck viacom youtube is one of the best things that happened to the internet in a while,im from africa and getting stuff sometimes is hard but youtube hooks me up…hope viacunt will not win!

  31. fuck viacom youtube is one of the best things that happened to the internet in a while,im from africa and getting stuff sometimes is hard but youtube hooks me up…hope viacunt will not win!

  32. #21: I don’t have any inside knowledge of what Ray Ozzie is planning but I don’t see that he has a choice. Microsoft knows that it needs to keep developers happy and if they want to keep developers happy they’ll need to offer a service like S3.

  33. #21: I don’t have any inside knowledge of what Ray Ozzie is planning but I don’t see that he has a choice. Microsoft knows that it needs to keep developers happy and if they want to keep developers happy they’ll need to offer a service like S3.

  34. #21: I don’t have any inside knowledge of what Ray Ozzie is planning but I don’t see that he has a choice. Microsoft knows that it needs to keep developers happy and if they want to keep developers happy they’ll need to offer a service like S3.

  35. Pierre: according to current law, you’re not responsible unless the content owner asks you to take it down and you don’t.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. I assume Google will lose, though, and am already building my world view around that eventuality.

  36. Pierre: according to current law, you’re not responsible unless the content owner asks you to take it down and you don’t.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. I assume Google will lose, though, and am already building my world view around that eventuality.

  37. Pierre: according to current law, you’re not responsible unless the content owner asks you to take it down and you don’t.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. I assume Google will lose, though, and am already building my world view around that eventuality.

  38. Brendan: my stats go all over the place. Often 175% different than the minimum. Especially on videos. Some videos get extraordinarily popular. Most not.

    Maybe I should have used Ask a Ninja’s stats. Theirs have been going up, up, up and are supposedly higher than Rocketbooms (and they just got a nice sponsorship deal from Federated Media).

  39. Brendan: my stats go all over the place. Often 175% different than the minimum. Especially on videos. Some videos get extraordinarily popular. Most not.

    Maybe I should have used Ask a Ninja’s stats. Theirs have been going up, up, up and are supposedly higher than Rocketbooms (and they just got a nice sponsorship deal from Federated Media).

  40. Brendan: my stats go all over the place. Often 175% different than the minimum. Especially on videos. Some videos get extraordinarily popular. Most not.

    Maybe I should have used Ask a Ninja’s stats. Theirs have been going up, up, up and are supposedly higher than Rocketbooms (and they just got a nice sponsorship deal from Federated Media).

  41. Jason says – “Why should the distribution channel be responsible for policing the content?”.

    Are you kidding me? They are DISTRIBUTING STOLEN CONTENT and profiting from it via ads. They’re 100% responsible for what they display. Imagine I run Cinema 2.0 in a disused building downtown. Any one can enter, so it’s a public place. I provide the seats, sell popcorn and play a few adverts here and there, but I don’t actually project the films myself. Instead, I invite people to bring their film reels, some of which are artsy amateur stuff, some of it is porn and others pirate copies of Hollywood blockbusters. Remember, I’m just providing the seats and the venue and making a quick buck from the adverts I play between reels. I don’t even touch the projector, but I own it and pay the electricity bill. Am I complicit in the piracy/indecency exhibited?

  42. Jason says – “Why should the distribution channel be responsible for policing the content?”.

    Are you kidding me? They are DISTRIBUTING STOLEN CONTENT and profiting from it via ads. They’re 100% responsible for what they display. Imagine I run Cinema 2.0 in a disused building downtown. Any one can enter, so it’s a public place. I provide the seats, sell popcorn and play a few adverts here and there, but I don’t actually project the films myself. Instead, I invite people to bring their film reels, some of which are artsy amateur stuff, some of it is porn and others pirate copies of Hollywood blockbusters. Remember, I’m just providing the seats and the venue and making a quick buck from the adverts I play between reels. I don’t even touch the projector, but I own it and pay the electricity bill. Am I complicit in the piracy/indecency exhibited?

  43. Jason says – “Why should the distribution channel be responsible for policing the content?”.

    Are you kidding me? They are DISTRIBUTING STOLEN CONTENT and profiting from it via ads. They’re 100% responsible for what they display. Imagine I run Cinema 2.0 in a disused building downtown. Any one can enter, so it’s a public place. I provide the seats, sell popcorn and play a few adverts here and there, but I don’t actually project the films myself. Instead, I invite people to bring their film reels, some of which are artsy amateur stuff, some of it is porn and others pirate copies of Hollywood blockbusters. Remember, I’m just providing the seats and the venue and making a quick buck from the adverts I play between reels. I don’t even touch the projector, but I own it and pay the electricity bill. Am I complicit in the piracy/indecency exhibited?

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