YouTube. Is YouTube a threat to the film industries or a democratic godsend to the masses - Essay Example

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YouTube is a peer-to-peer video sharing website and the firm is based in San Bruna, California. User-generated content can be uploaded and viewed by other users free, subject to some restrictions…
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YouTube. Is YouTube a threat to the film industries or a democratic godsend to the masses
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Download file to see previous pages Content available includes movie clips, video songs, TV shows and clips, video blogging, sports events, business management speech; user generated content and other types of video content (Miller, 2011). The company was acquired by Google in 2006 for 1.65 billion USD by Google. Only registered users are allowed to upload content and they can upload unlimited number of videos. Unregistered users can however view all types of barring movies flagged as premium. The viewership figures are very high. In 2010, more than 14 billion movies were viewed while 800 unique users visited the site every month. About 60 hours equivalent of new movies are uploaded to the site every minute (Anderson, et al, 2012). With such a large portfolio of movies and entertainment available, the statement that examined is ‘if YouTube is a threat to the film industries or a democratic godsend to people’. Thus, two issues will be examined and these are the threat to film industries and the advantages for the masses. Various issues such as nature of content, partnerships formed with media houses, business model and other such issues are examined in detail. An analysis and discussion is then formed along with a conclusion. The position taken by the paper is that YouTube is not a competitor to media houses and the film industry but it acts as a channel partner and media outlet and that the masses use the services for learning new skills, entertainment, for advertisements and product demos. 1.1. Problems and issues faced by the film industry The film industry across the world is facing increasing competition, cannibalisation and parasitic behaviour by a number of entities. These include pirated and illegal CDs of movies that are sold for a few Pounds on the sidewalks and which are also available as illegal downloads. Then there are the satellite channels such as HBO, Star Movies and others that broadcast reruns of old movies by paying some amount to the movie production house. Then there are websites such as NetFlix that offer legal movies on rent but the revenue earned by the film producer is less. The film industry makes profits mainly when patrons visit movie theatres (Jenkins, 2009). People tend to stay away from theatres since they can view movies through other legal and illegal channels. People will of course flock to the movie theatres to see hit films such as Avatar and the Harry Potter series but older movies see near empty houses. In such a case, a movie-sharing website such as YouTube that offers movies free viewing would be highly unwelcome since the website will further reduce the revenue (Lievrouw and Livingstone, 2012). The point is that the film industry would stand to suffer monetary loss and not loss of any reputation or identity theft since YouTube would not claim that a particular movie was filmed in-house. However, media houses are willing to consider services and offers that help them to obtain additional revenue. This issue is examined in the next section. 2. Analysis of YouTube Some important topics are first analysed with reference to the business model and content related topics. Observations from these discussions will be used in arguing for the statement. 2.1. Business Model Used The business model used by YouTube is advertisement revenue obtained from click through rates by users when they visit pages that host the movies. Advertisers pay a certain amount to the website to carry the Ads. It differs from the retail model of Netflix and Spotify in that it does not directly charge rentals for movies that are hosted. It is somewhat similar to Napster and Limewire but YouTube does not encourage illegal hosting of movies and it is not possible to download movies easily unless some special ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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