The Video Offensive – Platforms and their Strategies

On Wednesday morning, representatives of the online-video world’s four biggest players sat together in MEDIA CONVENTION Berlin’s full-to-bursting Hall 5: Ben McOwen Wilson, YouTube’s director for EMEA-region content partnerships; Robert Bridge, Yahoo’s vice president for international editorial and marketing; Dr. Christoph Schneider, CEO of Amazon Instant Video Germany; and Martin Ott, Facebook’s managing director for Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. Ben McOwen Wilson reported that more than 300 hours of new content are uploaded to YouTube every minute. For this reason, he said, it’s important that users also have a way to find this content. He said that YouTube works with many partners: “We’re only successful if our partners are also successful.” The company spends about $16 million per year on protecting copyrights. Indeed, few other companies have copyright-protection systems as sophisticated as YouTube’s, he said. The company is also open to other platforms. “Other players in the market are important for us,” McOwen Wilson said. However, the lack of European players in this market was unfortunate, he added.

According to Robert Bridge, Yahoo! is on the way to becoming an entertainment platform. The Internet company is primarily active in the areas of music and concerts, and has organised a global DJ competition. Now Yahoo! wants to establish itself as a provider of self-produced content, and bring American shows to Europe. “We’re still lagging a bit behind Netflix, however,” Bridge said. Facebook’s mission is “to give people the opportunity to share everything”, said Martin Ott. The fact that more and more people spend time on their mobile phones is changing media consumption dramatically. It’s also producing more and more videos. Currently, there are about 4 billion videos on Facebook, primarily uploaded through mobile phones. He said that one of the companies’ most important partners was Amazon, whose content helps drive people to Facebook. Christoph Schneider presented Amazon Instant Video, which was launched only a year ago. The service primarily offers blockbusters, classic films and TV movies, with a total of 15,000 titles in its library, some of which are exclusive to the service. With Amazon Studio Content, the company is beginning to produce its own content. “We’re still at day one,” Schneider said. “Our future has only just begun.”