YouTube Movies Scheduled for Failure

Google today confirmed what we all knew was coming: YouTube Movies.  With 3,000 movies set to be added to it’s database over the coming days.

It’s going to fail:

Who really wants to watch a movie sitting at their desk?
– I don’t.  I have a home cinema setup for watching movies.  So who does watch movies at their desk?  Movie pirates and low income users.  And they’re not exactly going to stump up $2.99 a movie to watch on YouTube.  Add to this the fact that most users visit YouTube to watch a quick 5 minute video during their lunch break or while reading an article.  They don’t go for a 90 minute plus movie.

Competition – Xbox, Netflix, cable
– Movies on demand is a fairly well covered user market.  I have my Xbox connected to my TV as does every geek I know.   I can simply switch it on and be watching a Netflix movie on my big screen, in seconds, and in comfort.  Not so with Youtube and my desk chair.

Vocal 12-year old user base
– Just check the comments on any video posted on Youtube.  Youtube’s predominant user base is age 12.  Just like Yahoo Answers.  It’s full of idiots.  12 year olds don’t have Credit Cards.

Abundent free entertainment
– Youtube has a plentiful supply of free to watch, somewhat entertaining, online videos.  There is an abundance of good quality video on a variety of topics and subjects to watch online, on Youtube, for free already.  If you search long and hard enough you’ll probably find most of the movies available through Youtube movies for free viewing through user channels.  Youtube Movies is competing with free in its own user space, and that’s a game no serious business should be playing.

Buffering issues
– YouTube is not known for it’s user experience these days.  Buffering is common and slow  This will make pushing a user to buy in to that first movie purchase a difficult proposition.

Google brand trust
– There have been a host of privacy issues surrounding the Google brand as of late (more so in Europe with its WIFI logging) and it’s starting to hurt them.  Combined with other significant data breaches making headlines recently (The Sony PSN hack being a notable example) and many would be reluctant to store their credit card details on YouTube no matter how many padlocks are shown.


So who will YouTube Movies appeal to?

Parents with children. They’ll sit little Jimmy in front of the computer to watch the latest Dora the Explorer movie on YouTube while they watch American Idol on the big screen.  It’s the same crowd who pay for IPhone in app purchases and play Farmville.  They need something to distract their child from interrupting their day.  Other than that group of users I can’t think of anyone else needing a YouTube Movie Service right now.


Final words

I’d set it up as a separate service under a new sub brand of Google and funnel users in with in-page links from YouTube.  As it is, it’ll be tainted by user perception of the YouTube brand resulting in a null-optimized revenue stream.  Eventual failure is a given.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to see Google expand and gain a foothold in the movie pay on demand business model as much as you do, I just don’t think it’s going to happen through YouTube.

I’ll be sticking to Netflix and cable…

For now.

What do you think?

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One Response to YouTube Movies Scheduled for Failure

  1. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile!.