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Monday, March 19, 2007

Google/YouTube exec David Eun on getting content owners to 'embrace the upload'

David Eun from Google is the opening speaker this morning at the NAB Futures Summit. He’s a former NBC executive who is now the VP in charge of Google/YouTube’s media partnerships.

His talk deftly avoids mentioning the Viacom lawsuit against YouTube; several times, though, he says that one of Google’s guiding tenets is respecting copyright. He also emphasizes that YouTube has developed tools for copyright holders to request that their content be removed, but he doesn’t get into any depth about automated content filtering technology. If the exact same clip is reposted time and time again, he says YouTube can identify that and block it.

Some rough notes:

“We don’t own content, nor do we create it.” Instead, Google’s goal is to help users organize, find, and manage content. “Google is about connecting people with information.”

Old media – newspapers, and broadcasters – were “fantastic businesses based on finite access,” Eun says. That’s a nice phrase. Not everyone could afford a printing press, or a television tower. Now, though, access to publishing and broadcasting has been cracked wide open.

Eun says Google is hiring people fluent in new technology and old media.

By 2014, according to Google’s estimate, an iPod-sized device will be capable of holding a year’s worth of video. By 2016, it will be able to store all commercial music ever produced. By 2024, 85 years worth of video (a lifetime). By 2025, all the content ever created.

Eun says Google’s aim is to create a marketplace on YouTube where users and advertisers can come together – and profit. No word on how exactly advertising will be integrated within YouTube videos. He shows one YouTube video clip, “Where the Hell is Matt,” where a globe-trotting videographer got sponsorship from a chewing gum company to cover the cost of his travels.

Google gauges how successful it is, Eun says, by how fast it links you off to the information you’re looking for – not by how long it keeps you on your site. I’d observe that that isn’t exactly the case with Google’s YouTube property, which keeps users on its site for nearly a half-hour, on average. Is YouTube really looking to reduce that engagement time?

Eun notes that Google has done “over 1000 deals” with content owners.

Google will seek to get content owners to “embrace the upload,” he says. Information about what people are uploading to YouTube is valuable data, he adds, about what they like. Google wants to give content owners the opportunity to swap in high-quality, official content for the clips that users upload, and put promotional content or advertising around it. He acknowledges that that system isn’t in place yet today, but it will be – “one day.”

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