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February 27, 2007

Viacom's Viewers

The Onion reports that... (oh, it's a parody) The Onion makes fun of Viacom's latest stunt: the 100,000 videos removed from YouTube.

In a cease-and-desist letter sent to Google's attorneys last week, media conglomerate Viacom demanded that YouTube immediately pull 400,000 ex-TV viewers from its industry-leading video-sharing site.

"These viewers clearly belong to Viacom and its related entertainment subsidiaries," stated the letter, which called the co-opted viewership "the result of an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars by our company."

The message is simple: you can't force people to choose a single medium where they can watch your content. You have to be open and treat your audience with respect. They're, after all, human beings and can't be forced to leave their computers and return to their TVs. Every music video or clip from a TV show is free advertising for your content and a gentle invitation to buy the album or to watch the TV channel.

On a related note, Fimoculous complains there's an increasing number of embedded YouTube videos that only show "This video is no longer available". For example, half of these 100 great videos aren't available anymore.

{ via Google Blogoscoped }

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