For those not aware there is somewhat of an information war brewing across what is now known as “new media”, which is the now well-worn catch-phrase for any viewpoint that is found on the internet.
Some may have a knee jerk reactions of, “Well…Duh!” Yet, what I want to address is not the same argument, nor fight, that most believe it to be. No, what I want to address here is this may be the very tipping point where everything concerning new-media, the web, along with social, may change and change as was once said, “bigly.”
The reason why I’m going to call your attention to this growing kerfuffle between InfoWars™ (the web-based opinion/news channel) and YouTube™ is for this reason:
It may be that seminal moment that proves everything one thought they needed to do via the internet, and that platforms that provided the scale needed – is no longer valid – needed – as well as important.
The beauty here, from my perspective, is that it will all come down to what should matter: Pure capitalistic principles, constitutional protections, and an adherence to what should be a company’s first rule for being: Serve a customer that will pay for your product or services.
Knowing who, or whom that customer is, is the #1 job of every company. It is my argument that, “The Valley” has never learned that properly. And it is that, dear reader, which may be the fulcrum, or catalyst that propels the change, which changes everything in Silicon Valley, exposing its worst nightmare scenario.
That scenario? They’re no longer needed or wanted. Hint: AOL™, Yahoo™, i.e. any and all prior “Legacy media platforms.”
The initial process of atrophy, in similar ways experienced in print media, in my opinion, has already begun and now increasingly so, for today’s social media giants (think Facebook™ Twitter™, Snap™, et al) mimicking the changes first observed when “the web and social” first began taking its toll on legacy media.
The real problem for “The Valley” is this: At the least, legacy media grew over the years based on paying customers, and they’re still trying to get their models in line to do just that, whether successfully or not. So there may be still a chance (however slim) for them if they go back (as in create a product people actually want to pay for) to those once time-honored business practices.
“The Valley” on the other hand, has truly had only one customer, and that customer is “Wall Street”, with an expense account made available, and paid for, via Central Bank largess.
And they (Central Banks) are in the process of “cutting up the credit cards.”
These are, or can be, the pivotal points in business where experts survey the landscape, begin weighing new information, and use the purely technical term to describe what may be on the horizon as that, “Uh, Oh” moment.”
And we may be at precisely this point. Here’s why…
Whether one likes, hates, agrees, disagrees, or doesn’t know of InfoWars, is immaterial. All I want to focus on here is what is relevant from a business perspective. (i.e., the current battle between Info and YT) And how this may impact any future business considerations one may have.
The reasoning is simple: This could be, as I iterated earlier, a big deal that effects everyone going forward from a business perspective. So again, leave any personal tastes to the side, for now.
Here’s the current fight: YouTube (YT) has enacted a policy that may ban InfoWars (IW) from its platform. As of this writing they (IW) currently has one strike against them in a “three strikes, you’re out” styled policy on YT.
Can this be done? Well I’m not a constitutional scholar, but I believe via a business lens, sure. YT is a business, and I believe it should be able to kick off anyone it wants, for what ever the reasoning it sees fit.
Is it an absolutely stupid enforcement of a policy, that make no sense and can be shown (and easily) to be purely hypocritical?
Incontrovertibly, yes, and may be more harmful monetarily wise to YT (along with its parent Alphabet™) than IW going forward.
In fact – it may be an actual boon for IW, in more ways than one, proving where the one that thought “they ruled”, may end up being the one financially ruined.
Let’s remember a very important business fact using this example, as the general example for all:
IW is the reason people (and that number is millions upon millions) go on to YT. (an intentional, over-simplified example, for demonstration purposes)
YT per se, has no product to offer other than: be the host for the actual product, which allows them to sell their “ads for eyeballs” data.
To reiterate, or clarify the point: If there is no IW on YT – YT is just a platform that hosts a blank page with no content. For YT creates nothing.
Again, over-simplification, for example purposes. Yet, this goes the same for the entire “social media” complex in general. i.e., They create nothing, but a platform for the content creators (which would be you dear reader) to post, share, and interact with each-other – then – sell all your interactions and data profiles to the highest bidder. That’s it. Period.
That’s why it’s all “free” to use, for you, and in-turn, makes the owners of these platforms rich beyond comparison, all at your expense, literally. Remember: if you’re not paying for a product – you are the product. Think about it.
Now here’s the outlier, but in actuality, is the heart-of-the-matter for this story, which I feel is lost on far too many. And it is this:
There was a time, just a very few years ago, where hosting a platform that could deal, or allowed, access to both a consistent, as well as surge of viewers in the millions – was unaffordable to most.
In other words, you could not, on your own and even for most businesses: post, then host, even a few seconds of video on your own website at a cost that was affordable. It literally cost thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of dollars to do it just a few years ago. (i.e., let’s say 5 or so for context)
Trust me, I know, which is why I refrained from video and more over the years, for that very reason.
I’ll just add this for a bit more context, because I feel it’s germane:
Many talk about “going viral”, but now use the term loosely. But until you understand what that truly means, and what it can (or did) cost you in real dollars and cents, as in actually being billed for services when your web host suddenly charges you thousands, upon thousands of dollars for “traffic overages,” or “traffic spike pricing”, because your current “plan” didn’t address such, or you never thought such a thing possible? You don’t truly understand what “going viral” may cost you from a business perspective.
And I have intimate knowledge of the power of IW’s traffic, for one of my articles appeared on their front page a few years back, and it wasn’t until then did I understand what the phrase “going viral” truly meant, along with their stated traffic numbers. i.e., When IW declares “millions?” They’re not kidding, at least that’s my perspective. So that’s why you needed a YT, or other hosting platform such as Social and for many, made economic sense.
But, (and it’s a very big but) that has all changed very recently. And it is the purveyors of these once, all-mighty platforms, that seem to have not gotten, “the memo.”
You can (which I myself am already in the process of doing) host current, as well as archived: audio, video, text, and more. Hire platforms with servers that can handle nominal traffic that may suddenly spike to millions of viewers, and remain elevated for long periods of time simultaneously, along with subscription services, user analytics, payment portals, and much, much more. And here’s the important point…
Completely under ones own control and purview, not only affordably, but the pricing is falling so fast it’s becoming almost crazy to do it any other way.
And that works to IW’s advantage – not YT’s. And that’s a very, very, very (did I say very?) big point to focus on, as well as remember going forward.
Will, or can IW be hurt financially by this current policy? Sure, but let’s think here for a moment, from a pure business perspective, shall we?
IW gets hurt up front, but they still create the product that millions want to see. If it’s not on YT, and the customers still want the product? They’ll just go directly to IW’s own proprietary outlet, if that’s what gets done.
It will, of course, have some impact on IW’s bottom line, initially. But that’s not a bad thing if makes that “bottom line” all theirs, for all their efforts. i.e., Short-term losses for long-term gains via cutting out the middle-man. (e.g. YT.)
YT, on the other hand, gets what for its new policy stance?
Millions, upon millions, upon millions of fewer eyeballs to harvest and sell their data to the highest bidders. Which, basically, is its main, if not only true product.
And who is the buyer of that product narrative? Hint: Wall Street.
So let’s add a few things up using 1+1=2 math for business purposes, under the guise of an analogy, shall we?
IW loses traffic initially via YT – yet once its millions of viewers/customers are no longer available to view on YT, they just change their “bookmark” from YT to IW and are able to consume their product however IW sees fit, along with the ability for IW to sell further add-ons of what ever may be their choice going forward. No YT needed.
YT gets? Zip – Zero – Nada. Along with having to explain to Wall Street (conjecture of course) why traffic or user numbers are stagnant, or worse, falling.
And here is the “800-LB Gorilla” in all of this…
How many follow IW’s lead?
If the numbers in the last earnings reports from “The Valley” have given any clue? This battle may be looking at being over, before those who thought they owned the web knew they were even at war.
Can you say “AOL?”
© 2018 Mark St.Cyr