Oh Yes, It's YouTube vs the PRS!
YouTube - that is to say, Google - and the UK's musical copyright agency, the PRS, are having a row. Since yesterday, Google is no longer serving high-quality videos covered by PRS licensing to end points in Britain. Telco 2.0 associate Alan Patrick has some interesting thoughts on the affair at his blog.
Alan, of course, helped prepare the scenarios in the Online Video Distribution report, which foresaw a rapid progression through a period of intense change and conflict (we called it Pirate World) as the old media economy broke up, but which would eventually result in a new value chain emerging as the problems of an all-pirate world made themselves felt.
We also had a look at the differences between YouTube and Hulu not so long ago. Hulu is, of course, the content owners' answer to YouTube; we may just have seen YouTube's answer to content owners. It's also worth noting that (at least if you take YouTube's explanation seriously) that it has some similarities to the ISP backhaul crunch; in both cases there is raging demand from the customer-facing players for a product that comes from a near-monopoly, but one of the constraints on the near-monopolist is the risk of putting the customer-facing players out of the game.
We will, of course, be discussing this in much more detail at the next Telco 2.0 event, where Alan Patrick will be presenting a taste of the research in our latest report, the Online Video Market Study.