YouTube Moving from “Lean Forward” to “Lean Back”

youtube television appletvDo you want YouTube and amateur videos from the comfort of your living room or bed?

I’m the only person I know that uses AppleTV to surf YouTube, but the YouTube blog announced a series of distribution partners. I usually think of YouTube as a company that has been fairly slow to introduce new technologies, but it has been building out a network beyond the website.

I once did a practical joke where I called YouTube’s PR lead and complained that I couldn’t find YouTube on my cable lineup. Now if you want amateur video via your cable TV, there’s no reason your provider can’t offer it. Here are the API case studies.

Eventually YouTube needs to serve ads via these distribution platforms and share the revenue. That will spawn increased demand, even if the ads command a smaller CPM. It’s an easy way to offer subscriber value and it’s good for creators and advertisers if it helps amateur content reach new audiences.

I’m puzzled as to why YouTube video viewing hasn’t been default incorporated into Roku — the device that allows you to stream your Netflix videos to your television set for $99 and no monthly fee. I love the idea of surfing an endless pool of video without a nagging monthly fee or per-video charge. Candidly, I’d be far more willing to pay a “per view” charge than another monthly one. Who needs another damned cable bill for 100s of stations we never watch?

Right now, a television/cable provider wouldn’t likely offer YouTube without sensing demand from its subscribers. It’s not yet a revenue source for them, although it will be eventually. Currently a video distributor can access zillions of YouTube videos and advertise around the API (but not within it). According to the YouTube API terms of service:the sale of advertising, sponsorships, or promotions targeted to, within, or on the API Client or YouTube video content.”