Why doesn’t YouTube have a business channel? They have channels for musicians and experts and journalists and more, yet no place for businesses to upload their content. Why?
Well, it could be that as of the time of this writing, there is hardly any business-type video content in existence. By this I mean that businesses have not begun en masse to create videos for marketing purposes. So it makes sense, right now, that there is no YouTube business channel because there is not any content to fill it.
Another reason that YouTube may not have a business channel is that of the business video content that does exist, most of it is spammy to say the least, and YouTube doesn’t want spammy content in any form.
So here we are, in June 2008 and businesses are beginning to realize that a big piece of the future of marketing online, and search, is having an online video. But YouTube, who owns 77% of all video views, has decided not to create a sandbox for businesses to play in.
If Google Wants To Make Money Right Now, YouTube Has To Stop Thinking Like A Publisher
Recently, much talk has been made about how YouTube cannot make money in their current publisher business model (page views + ads = $$$). I’ll leave the intense debate on that issue to people like Mark Cuban who I agree with. But that’s not what this manifesto is all about.
If YouTube wants to make money right now, they need to create a business channel, or independent brand (Google Video perhaps?) that is built specifically for businesses to put their video content.
Let’s first talk about why they need to do this, then about how it’s going to make them money right now.
Reason #1 YouTube Business Should Exist & Segregate the Prisoners
Business content doesn’t fit with the current content on YouTube. A commercial or training guide or seminar recording does belong next to music videos or skateboarding videos or soft-porn videos.
Ask any Chairman of the board of a Fortune 500 company (I have) about why they aren’t putting their videos on YouTube and you’ll get the same answer. “I’m not putting my brand in the mix next to videos of underage teens dancing in their underwear.â€
Good point. Why would they? The answer is they’re simply not going to. Done.
YouTube has to wall-off business content and separate it from the general population. How can this be done? Well, one way would be to take Google Video and turn it into the “businessâ€ arm of YouTube. The other way would be to simple create a walled-off section of YouTube called YouTube Business and make that video content exist on its own, not integrated into the general population.
Reason #2 YouTube Business Should Exist & Universal Search is an Empty Cup
Universal search is the future of Google search, and a big piece of that is direct integration of video into the organic results.
But Houston, we have a HUGE problem!
Yep, the reason you’re not seeing Google universal search in action (one of them at least) is that there simply isn’t enough relevant video content in existence to “fillâ€ billions of search results. Let me explain.
Every day millions and millions of people come to Google and look to find high-quality, relevant content that solves their problems. So let’s pretend that one of those searchers comes and searches Google for “skateboarding manufacturers. It’s obvious that that person is interested in finding a list of companies that sell or product or distribute skateboards.
So when they search, they get some web pages (276,000 or so) with tutorials and probably some image results and maybe some blogs show up too.
Then they get a bunch of videos (17 only to be exact) of kids doing skateboard tricks.
How relevant!!! Not.
There are millions of examples like this. The bottom line is, because of the very nature of the type of content that exists on YouTube right now, there is not enough relevant content to display in universal search.
Google searchers are not going to continue to use Google if they are not receiving the highest-quality, most relevant results, and if they turned Universal search on right now in full it would be a joke.
That’s why YouTube needs, no MUST, have business content!
What Kind Of Content Would Fit On YouTube Business?
Online video is a huge opportunity for businesses. Imagine having the power to put a commercial, or educational guide, or viral video, saying whatever you want to say, however you want to say it, on your website for people to be able to watch 24-hours-a-day, 7-days a week.
This is reality. Businesses that do not take advantage of online video both on their website and on sites like a YouTube Business will be left behind down the road. Video communicates so much better than bulleted text on a screen, we all know this.
So there is no question that all businesses will be required to produce videos for online consumption. It’s like having a website today that’s easily findable online. It’s no longer something you could do, it’s an expectation. If you don’t have it, there’s something wrong with you in a consumer’s eyes.
This same expectation will happen with online video eventually. It’s that important.
So what kinds of videos should businesses be making and storing on YouTube Business?
Commercials or infomercials
Website spokesperson videos
And any other type of video you can think of that will help educate or guide or inform a potential customer about
A Big Problem Is That YouTube Doesn’t Want Those Types of Videos
In case you haven’t noticed, the types of videos mentioned in the list above are NOT videos that exist on YouTube today. In fact, if you read their terms, you’ll understand that YouTube does NOT WANT those types of videos and will remove them if noticed. I know because they took a few of my videos down that had calls to actions on them.
Why doesn’t YouTube want business related videos? Because that’s not their model at the moment. They want a critical mass of user-generated content videos and they’re going to sell ads on and around them.
Fine. That’s great. But it still doesn’t solve a problem for millions of businesses who will need a place to have their videos hosted and served and viewed.
Introducing YouTube Business!
So we’ve talked about why YouTube needs a business section. Now let’s talk about how YouTube is going to make money, immediately, with a business section.
But first off, let’s talk about the huge opportunity that exists. Millions and millions of businesses, from mom and pop stores, to billion-dollar, global corporations will all have the need to have a place to put their videos. Guess what? They don’t have a resource right now to do that.
That’s right. As of right now, there really isn’t any place for a business to quickly, easily and cost-effectively put their business video content. They could invest in third-party hosting, but then they’re going to have to figure out how to create a proprietary flash player to stream their videos, and more importantly, their videos, if not hosted on YouTube, are not going to be indexed into Google universal search.
The bottom line is, even for large companies, it is going to be much easier to simply have a place that is built for business video content that solves all the issues associated with video streaming, compression, quality, etcâ€¦
It’s All About Subscriptions
Remember we talked about stopping thinking like a publisher? YouTube needs to forget ads on business content, ok? Keep them on user-generated content if you wish.
Let’s talk about subscriptions. For the sake of this argument, let’s say that there are 1 million businesses ready to sign up today to this new YouTube Business channel. Of course there are millions and millions more businesses in the Global market today, but let’s stick with the 1 million.
(Actually, the U.S. Census reports that there are 5,983,546 businesses in the USA alone in 2005.)
What if YouTube Business charged each business $100/month to host their videos? That’s $1200/year, times 1,000,000 accounts = $1.2 BILLION/year.
Alright, let’s say that they signed up 5 million businesses at that same rate?
That’s $1200/year, times 5,000,000 accounts = $600 BILLION/year.
You think that would pay a few bandwidth bills?
Ahh, yes, but Jim, would a business pay $100/month to have their videos hosted at YouTube? Why yes, they’d pay that in a heartbeat, and here’s why.
1. Universal search integration for videos that meet “requirements”
2. The ability to remove the YouTube branded logo on the player allows the business to both stream the video on YouTube, as well as on their website
3. Full HD capability if wanted
4. Long-form. Allowing videos up to 2-hours in length
5. Maintaining brand equity by segregation from amateurish and inappropriate videos in the general population
6. Unlimited views
7. Trend tracking and analytics
8. Private community
9. Custom-branded business channel pages
Links & Clicks Are Just Gravy
Let’s take this a step further now. So we’ve got all of these businesses paying YouTube a monthly recurring revenue. Now let’s start upselling them.
Want the ability to put clickable links to outside website urls in your videos? Add $50/month to your fee, or charge the business by links or clicks or views.
Example #1: One link per video. And it costs you $1.00 every time that video is viewed.
Example #2: All links in your videos that are clicked cost you $1.00 for every click.
Example #3: You pay for views of your videos on a sliding scale. The more views the more you pay.
There are many combinations YouTube could choose from that the business would pay for.
Why would any business upload their videos anywhere else? They wouldn’t. A YouTube business channel just makes sense for both businesses and YouTube. Someone from Google give me a ring. I’d be happy to lead this for you. I’m not kidding. Let’s do it.
I’d love to hear your comments. Tell me I’m wrong, tell me I’m right, but make sure you actually read the entire piece above first?