YouTube plans to take on Apple’s iTunes with free music videos

“YouTube’s plan to provide ‘every’ music video free is a ‘nail in the coffin’ of the paid-for online content business model and potentially threatens the dominant position of Apple’s iTunes, according to City analysts,” Mark Sweney reports for The Guardian.

“The video filesharing website, where 100m clips are watched every day, is in talks with Warner Music and EMI to offer music video downloads for free. Revenue will be provided by advertising,” Sweney reports.

“‘Any service that YouTube puts in place is, almost beyond reasonable doubt, not going to be iPod compatible,’ said Mark Mulligan, vice-president at JupiterResearch. ‘If they develop portability – and that should definitely be on the table – then Apple could be in the unusual space of playing catch up,’ he added. ‘If YouTube can convert its massive online popularity then it could provide a significant reason for people to buy non-iPod devices, at the moment Apple is still the best bet for portable music watching. Either way it is a nail in the coffin of paid-for services as the dominant online model versus ad-funded alternatives,'” Sweney reports.

Full article here.
What percentage of iTunes video sales are music videos anyway? We’d venture a guess that TV shows make up the bulk of Apple’s paid-for video content business, not music videos. JupiterResearch’s Mulligan vastly overestimates the power of YouTube and their music video plans. People have invested in the iPod ecosystem, they’re not going to dump it all just because YouTube offers iPod-incompatible music videos with ads.

Related article:
NPD: Apple retains huge lead with 75.6% share of U.S. music player market – August 17, 2006


  1. This will entice teenagers who wouldn’t have bought the music videos anyway, but the diehard music fans who want their favorite artist videos aren’t going to want a commercial slapped at the beginning of their music video. They’ll buy the commercial free video instead.

  2. I already know how to extract YouTube videos to my desktop. I now just want to know when some innovative programmer is going create converter software to allow me to convert Flash video to QuickTime. Or to have Apple throw the switch in iTunes to handle FLV and SWF files.

  3. LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son

    First you say this:

    It’s all too clear to the Marxist brain that free always works.

    THEN you say this:

    Free works in the Linux world

    So the Linux world is full of Marxist brains?

    Pull your neocon brain out of your ass. Then you might see that this is not a political discussion.

    No, you probably won’t want to see that. You’re likely more comfortable with your brain *right* where it is… in your rectum.

    Have a nice life, jerkoff.

  4. Am I missing something here….? Exactly why should music videos be free? If I’m not mistaken music videos need Art Directors, Sound technicians, continuity, choreography, lighting, blah, blah, blah. Don’t these people count all of a sudden… or do you people believe that fairies and pixie dust produces music videos?

    Last time I checked, these people deserve to be paid for their work too. If a video is a marketing tool to promote the label’s music, then what is the music track itself if not a marketing tool for the artist?

    Getting something for free means someone, somewhere didn’t get paid for their work. That’s wrong, anyway you slice it!

  5. Well – if YouTube can offer videos for free why can’t Apple?

    I was always under the impression that Apple was selling content because the record companies wouldn’t let them give it away for free?

    Sure Apple would likes to make a buck – who doesn’t. But since when do the record labels allow one company to give their content away for free???

  6. I wouldn’t mind if google did this since they offer a convenient way to download videos as ipod compatible right on the page, or maybe youtube should add that. I know you can get software to extract the videos and convert them but I can’t be bothered with that.

  7. YouTube has never allowed you to easily download videos off their website and I doubt they will start now. You can download them, but those ways are considered hacks. Plus, their site is slow as balls!

  8. Allen

    If you’re thinking of, for instance, MSN showing “Arrested Development,” then you’rte totally wrong.

    1. MSN is streaming the shows… those aren’t direct downloads.

    2. MSN is inserting commercials… so it isn’t “free.”

    Got any examples of your assertion? How can others legally give away the same things iTMS sells?

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