There’s been a buzz building on this for some time, but today, YouTube and Warner Music Group have confirmed that Warner will be posting its music videos on YouTube. The deal will see the two companies sharing the advertising revenue associated with pages where Warner content resides.
Arguably the most interesting part of the whole deal is that Warner is encouraging users to download and remix the videos. In the words of a Warner spokesman, they “want to lead by innovation” rather than litigation. That move is to be applauded, but as the Chevy Tahoe folks will tell you, user-remixed content can be a bit of a high-wire act.
A couple of questions come to mind immediately:
- Is this development the thin edge of the wedge leading to a pay-for-content model on YouTube?
- Either way, could there be a backlash against YouTube that opens the gate for another video sharing service that suddenly seems more “grassroots”?
- Will Warner really have the stomach to see what happens when you let users remix, say, a Paris Hilton video — and then unleash it on one of the most popular sites on the Internet?
- Will the sudden influx of image-conscious major artists force YouTube to serve up better-looking video (as opposed to the low-res mush they dish up now)?
- Will YouTube need to think about tweaking its tagline, “Broadcast Yourself”?
We’ll see how it shakes out. There’s definitely going to be a lot of ink spilled on this story.