Talk about capitalizing (making money) on something (copyrighted content) that sticks in peoples' craws.
Google's YouTube video-sharing site is getting an unexpected boost from a content protection tool it launched in October 2007 to help companies weed out copyrighted content.
Rather than using the software to block video users put up, 90 percent of copyrighted content owners are selling advertising against pirated video they own using YouTube's Video Identification technology, YouTube Product Manager David King said in a blog post.
Facing pressure from Viacom, which is suing the company for $1 billion, other publishers and copyright advocates everywhere, Google launched Video ID to let content owners block, promote or make money from content shown on the site through advertising. More than 300 Google partners use the tool. King wrote about the practice:
"This has led directly to a similarly significant increase in monetizable partner inventory, as our Video ID partners are seeing claimed content more than double their number of views, against which we can run ads. This means that if a partner has, say, 10,000 views of its content, leaving up videos claimed by our system will lead to an average additional 10,000 views of that same content. We call this "partner uplift," and for some partners we've seen uplift as high as 9000 percent."The New York Times details how Electronic Arts and others, including Viacom-owned CBS, are leveraging Video ID to sell ads on YouTube.
I don't know whether to be more concerned that companies are making money after ripping into Google for allowing copyrighted content to be uploaded, or that Google has found a way to make money by airing copyrighted content, something it was widely blasted for.
I'll take the latter position, given the alleged downslide in online advertising. If Google can find more ways to monetize areas it faces opposition in, the company will continue to be in great shape.
ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick hopes this could be the hint of a new shift in the media business. Indeed, although unfortunately that isn't stopping Viacom from dinging Google for past copyrighted content transgressions.
Still, if Google can capitalize on cash for copyrighted content, YouTube will join search advertising as a moneymaker, not a fiscal albatross.