Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm shocked, shocked to find that the studios and Youtube are talking

It would have been a dereliction of duty by the executives at the studios and YouTube were they not talking. How can this possibly be a surprise? Why was it played as signficant "news" in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times this week?

Of course YouTube is desperate to have legitimate big-name programming -- they need it in order to charge for advertising and/or charge for viewing. They have certainly been talking to (or trying to talk to) the studios for some time now.

And the studio execs are not stupid (having been one, and worked with them, I can vouch that many of them are actually very smart). They know YouTube has a huge audience, and they would of course love to monetize that audience. So it's reasonable to assume they've been talking as well.

So, given that we assumed they're already talking, is there actually anything to report? Are the talks leading to anything? Well, as the Times put it, "One studio executive... said the issues still to be resolved were pricing and the timing of YouTube releases." Right. This is like saying that the only unresolved issue remaining between Flat-Earthers and NASA is the shape of our planet. Come on, people.

And it took three reporters at the Journal and two reporters at the Times to bring us this "news".

(By the way, if any readers don't get the reference, the "I'm shocked, shocked..." quote comes from Casablanca, when Claude Rains' character, Capt. Louis Renault, feigns surprise at something he knew full well was going on.)