Thursday, September 03, 2009

YouTube -- Ditching the "You" More & More Each Day (and Acting More Like Coca Cola?)

YouTube -- who are you? Better question -- where are YOU?

YouTube is fast-changing its classic "broadcast yourself" formula -- instead, adopting the mantra more taste(ful) content, less filling (non monetizable content). In other words, featuring more and more "premium" and monetizable content -- including TV shows.

Now, of course, YouTube plans to distribute full-length motion pictures, in a bid to try to be all things to all people. Yes, YouTube still wants to feature your "dancing cat" videos; but, YouTube also wants to be just like Netflix, Hulu and others in terms of the online distribution of movies and other premium content. This move was announced yesterday -- but, certainly is not unexpected at all.

But, will this change in its classic formula work? Or, will YouTube suffer the same fate as Coca Cola a couple decades back when it tinkered with its formula in a bid to be more like Pepsi, which had started to gain ground on it at the time? Many of you may recall what happened there - shock and awe - and Coca Cola quickly re-introduced its original formula under the new moniker of "Coca Cola Classic."

By more and more ditching the "You" -- and by more and more broadcasting what THEY are broadcasting -- will YouTube's faithful start to go elsewhere because they feel the service has lost its grass-roots soul? In other words, that YouTube has become "just like the other guys?"

Ahh, "What to be, or not to be? That is the question!" This is the conundrum that confronts Google as it continues to shed hundreds of millions of dollars on the service.