After announcing a new YouTube Google TV app yesterday, Google is now encouraging YouTube content partners to sign new terms that give the company permission to play their videos across all platforms (mobile, TV, web, etc.) by default.
Right now, content partners upload their videos to YouTube and take a cut of the revenue that’s brought in from the advertising. The partners currently have the option to restrict their videos from being played on certain platforms or mediums. For instance, producers could decide they only want their videos played on a regular web browser and iOS applications. Their videos wouldn’t be available on Google TV, Android, or mobile web browsers. This strategy might be employed if a content producer wants to negotiate a separate, more lucrative deal on another platform (for example, giving Microsoft exclusive TV and console rights to their content). According to AllThingsD, Google’s new terms don’t allow content producers to cut those side deals, which has the potential to take money out of their pocket.
These new terms are apparently not rolling out for larger content partners like Vevo, meaning Vevo can continue to restrict how and where its YouTube videos are viewed without interference by Google. Part of that has to do with the bigger content partners bringing videos that are far more influential than the average user can create. Right now they (the big content producers) have the clout to call their own shots, but it’s obviously something Google would like to abolish going forward rather than making it a commonplace.
Also, I doubt it’s Google’s intention to single out the smaller content partners. It’s far more user-friendly to make sure a web producer’s videos are available on all platforms and mediums. Personally, I find it aggravating when I try to share a video with someone from a “major” YouTube content partner via my iPhone, only to discover that it’s not available to mobile users. In those instances, I don’t bother trying to find another video, I simple put my phone away and find something else to do — a fact Google no doubt realizes.