Warner Bros. vs. YouTube- how to make enemies and alienate your audience

by Jason Gross

24 December 2008


AP named Hulu as the website of the year and while you could argue that there were plenty of other good contenders (Facebook, Twitter, Obama’s site), it makes sense to give ‘em the crown.  For once, media congloms came together on their own and built a product that people actually flocked to online. 

Sad to say, that lesson was lost on Warner Bros. who pulled their videos from YouTube.  Ideally, they would have though ‘the last time we went to war with a hugely popular Net service and didn’t provide an alternative (Napster), we got killed so we gotta be smarter now.” 

But, they didn’t do that.  So when users go looking for Gnarls Barkley or Beck or Jenny Lewis or Kid Sister on YouTube, they’ll just get error messages and find the stuff someone else, probably not authorized by WB since they didn’t have an alternative in place to send users.  And thus, these boneheads unwittingly empower other unauthorized online services to service up their goods.  Pretty freakin’ stupid and yet another reason that nowadays, majors are only good at killing themselves off.


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