Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Viacom stole the show today with the announcement of its $1 billion lawsuit against Google/YouTube. In the suit, Viacom claims that there were over 160,000 videos (of varying length, I'd imagine) that were widely distributed on YouTube which infringed on Viacom's copyrights.

Now, I don't know how the lawyers did the math - a billion dollars is a nice round sum. It works out to about $6,250 per video. Since the videos are likely segments of entire shows, I wonder how they worked out the aggregate numbers. They clearly see that YouTube has a powerful model: "building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content," but don't want to be victimized.

NBC Universal, CBS Corp. and Universal Music Group already inked revenue-sharing deals with YouTube. Is Viacom's strategy a smart one? It may help this graph in the short-run, but it's tough to say beyond that.

Is this an example of Big Media not embracing the power of social media? Should they be partnering with YouTube? Or does Viacom have another plan?

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