Sat. Sep 30th, 2023
The Rise of YouTube as a Rival to TV Networks: Should Networks Cut Ties?

YouTube, once considered a platform for promotional shorts and cat videos, has now evolved into a fierce rival to traditional TV networks. With the emergence of high-quality long-form videos and user-generated content, viewership on YouTube has shifted to the big screen, capturing 40% of the market share. This new status has put YouTube in direct competition with TV networks, raising concerns about licensing agreements and content fragmentation.

In the past, networks like CBS and Discovery would post their content on YouTube via friendly licensing agreements. However, this move could potentially undermine the long-term strategies of streaming services. Licensing content to YouTube fragments the audience and allows YouTube to monetize the same viewers throughout their engagement, even outside the core viewing experience. This becomes especially problematic with the rise of ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD), where YouTube becomes a substitute for accessing desired content.

TV networks have responded to this shift by launching their own streaming platforms, such as Paramount+ and Disney+. These platforms not only offer exclusive content but also provide full monetization capabilities. By withdrawing their licensing agreements with YouTube, networks can maintain more control over content distribution, manage the user experience, capture customer data, and cross-promote other content. This move allows networks to offer an end-user experience that rivals or even surpasses what YouTube can provide.

Furthermore, networks should consider the detrimental impact of depending on platforms like Facebook and Google. These platforms often appropriate audiences, siphon revenues, and control distribution through algorithm changes, leaving networks vulnerable. Cutting ties with YouTube is a way for networks to protect their strategic positions in the streaming landscape.

In conclusion, networks face a tough decision. By cutting ties with YouTube, they can focus on their own streaming platforms and maintain control over their content and monetization. Failure to do so may result in relinquishing control to YouTube and risking their future in the streaming industry. It’s time for networks to make a bold move and prioritize their own platforms over YouTube.

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