It wasn’t long ago that YouTube was known as the video version of early Napster. If you needed a free television show, music video, or even a featured-length movie, YouTube was your source.
Now the company, under Google, has developed perhaps the most robust content ID library in the world (see YouTube business blog). It’s no wonder that 1,000 content providers have worked with YouTube to prevent copyright infringement… they’re worried it’s cannibalizing, not marketing, their content.
In the process, YouTube is amassing a database that can serve as a new revenue stream for parent Google… the ability to scan for digital “thumbprints” of video and audio. This is something Google can monetize beyond YouTube.
Want to prevent ripped video or music online? You’ll need help from Google (the leading search engine) and YouTube (the largest video site and second largest search engine).
In the future, Google could reduce result-rankings from websites that post copyright infringements using this Content ID. It could even use the technology to create a bit torrent that’s clean.
Of course the more Google works with publishers, the less it will satisfy people searching for free content. How far will Google go to forge trusted relationships with media distributors, and will this open the door to a more agnostic search engine and video site?