If you have watched YouTube videos on a regular basis for any amount of time then you have probably noticed an increase in advertising on the site – whether it be in the form of branded channels, video pre-roll ads, layovers, banner ads or advertisements of other varieties. The New York Times confirmed this increase in a recent article, which stated that YouTube video ad views are up 50 percent, with two billion views per week.
A big part of this growth can be attributed to content copyright owners, such as major motion picture studios, television networks and record labels. Not long ago, these copyright owners would immediately request that YouTube take down videos using footage from their films or television shows, or using music from their labels. Today, copyright owners are realizing that by leaving clips up they can beef up their own profits by allowing YouTube to run ads with the videos and split the revenue gleaned from these ads.
As an example, the New York Times refers to a video clip of the popular television series “Mad Men”, which was uploaded to YouTube by user TomR35. Lions Gate, owners of the rights to “Mad Men” opted to leave the clip up, rather than have YouTube take it down, and to allow YouTube to run ads on the video. YouTube splits the revenue with Lions Gate.
According to Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times, “More than one-third of the two billion views of YouTube videos with ads each week are like TomR35’s ‘Mad Men’ clip – uploaded without the copyright owner’s permission but left up by the owner’s choice.” It wasn’t always like this, as YouTube’s lawyers spent years in negotiations over copyright violations. But more and more, content copyright holders are discovering the potential of placing ads on videos uploaded with their content, rather than taking the videos down altogether.
While these 200 billion weekly ad views on YouTube only account for 14 percent of the site’s total views, it is should still be enough to make YouTube profitable by years end. Miller writes in her article that, according to analysts, YouTube should bring in about $450 million in revenue, and will only continue to grow in future years, as revenue has more than doubled every year for the past three years.
What do you think about this trend towards YouTube advertising for copyright owners? Do you think there are too many ads on YouTube?