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If you can’t beat them…Viacom and MTV figure it out

November 3rd, 2008

It seems like a hundred years ago.

Overnight, it became dead simple to copy and post video to the Internet and everyone started doing it.

Copyright owners wailed and gnashed their teeth. Can you blame them? Suddenly, it was easier to copy and repost their uber-expensive products than it was to make paper copies. (At least you have to pay to make photocopies.)

To get the ball rolling, Viacom filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Google and YouTube.  (That lawsuit is still pending I believe.)

In the meantime, someone got intelligent.

A company called Auditude ran the numbers…

It turns out that viewers upload 20 times number of clips that content producers do and viewership of viewer-uploaded videos is SIX times higher than the viewership of videos posted by content owners.

In short, unpaid volunteers were generating more viewers for content owners than the content owners were able to produce for themselves.

MySpace, working with Autitude's technology, can now identify clips produced by Viacom (MTV etc.)  uploaded by MySpace customers and automatically attach relevant ads to them.

How beautiful is this?

Viacom gets paid for its content. MySpace gets paid for access to its audience. Users get to go wild and do what they want to do which is repost video's they like.

Imagine being able to expand the distribution of your product SIXFOLD by just letting people do what they want to do.

For years, "viral marketing" has been the holy grail for marketers. With help from Autitude, Viacom is getting it instead of filing lawsuits to try to stop it.

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