The EU Just Handed Youtube a Monopoly on Video Publishing

Youtube on phone

If you've not been following, Article 13 is the deeply controversial legislation that will radically change how copyright law is upheld across the Internet. On Tuesday the European Parliament voted in favour of the law, whose aim is to ensure a copyright holder's content isn't published online without their consent. Importantly, it will put the burden of responsibility on the publisher, rather than the copyright holder issuing strikes, to ensure copyright law is upheld on their platform.

Since Article 13 was tabled in June 2018, the internet has been in uproar – mostly because it was terrified an unforeseen victim of the law would be memes (for the record – memes aren't in danger, as there's an exception in the article for humorous content). It hasn't been helped by the image of MEPs as dinosaurs who can't even press the right button when voting on the Article, let alone understand the complexities of how the law will alter the internet for generations. 

Should the law pass, it will force publishers Youtube, Vimeo and Facebook, to filter content as it's uploaded to ensure it doesn't contain copyrighted material. One of the keenest voices against the proposal is Youtube, which is curious, as it's the only publishing platform that stands to benefit from the law being passed. Why? Because Alphabet, Youtube's parent company, has spent over $100m developing its 'Content ID' algorithm to filter content like this, through its subsidiary Google. 

Once Article 13 comes into force, content publishers like Vimeo, Reddit and Facebook are going to be faced with a choice. Either, they develop their own copyright detection algorithm, or they knock on Google's door, and ask if they can purchase theirs. Of course, given that the algorithm represents the keys to content publication, I can't imagine Google selling it as a service cheaply. They'll want to make a profit on their investment in R&D, understandably so.

Why does it matter, doesn't Youtube already have a monopoly on video distribution online? It matters because this law ensures Youtube cannot be contested. If you were concerned about Google's fingers tightening around your data before, and you enjoy watching video content online, the EU has just ensured Google won't face competition for generations to come. 

And if I were Vimeo right now, I'd be extremely worried.


How Video is Shaping Consumer Decisions

DH&Co How Video is Shaping Consumer Decisions

It's now indisputable that video is playing an increasingly fundamental role in shaping consumer purchasing behaviour, especially among under 35s. 

Let's be clear – the last decade has radically revolutionised purchasing decisions. For generations, those decisions had relied on word-of-mouth recommendations, point-of-sale information, or reviews from trusted publications. But the smartphone revolution, and free online publishing platforms like Youtube, have drastically changed the game. 

According to a recent study from Google, 50% of all internet users look for video related to a product or service before visiting a store. Before consumers see a product in the flesh, they want to see it used on a screen. 

Broadly, the videos being watched fall into three categories: 

1. Branded content and ads: Whether you're a clothing brand or a high-street bank, it doesn't matter. You need beautiful, creative, informative advertising and branded content shared across all video platforms – pushed out across Facebook, Youtube or TV campaigns. And if your key audience doesn't see an ad, then they'll probably see your product featured by...

Casey Neistat: "Samsung Galaxy S8 Review"

Casey Neistat: "Samsung Galaxy S8 Review"

2. Influencers: If you've frequented the trending tab on Youtube recently, you'll notice that a staggering amount of Youtube's most watched video content is produced by influencers. It's not a co-incidence that Samsung has been carefully creating a relationship with the most-watched vlogger on the net, Casey Neistat. And finally, once your audience has seen their favourite influencer waxing lyrical about your brand, they'll then turn to...

3. Product-specific reviews from media outlets or individuals. Here's where traditional PR strategy falls in the video world. The best reviewers around need to have your product, and any additional resources they need, to produce a compelling piece of content.

The lines are a little blurred, but it's imperative that a marketing strategy takes into account these three avenues. It's no longer enough to pay a PR to sell-in your product to journalists. Consumers want to be wowed by ads and marketing, and endeared to a product by their favourite influencers. 

Consumers want to be wowed by ads and marketing, and endeared to a product by their favourite influencers.

Another recent google study claims that in an average day 98% of 18 to 34 year-olds use their smartphone to watch video. You read that right. All young people are watching video content on their smartphone. And surprisingly (for some) – a smartphone is the under 35's viewing platform of choice. They are far less distracted when watching on their phone, compared to any other screen, including TV.

So here's the takeaway – if you're trying to appeal to an audience under 35, diverse video marketing is absolutely key.