How Much Data Do Content Owners Need?

    September 30, 2009

Mm, I love the smell of data in the work vampire logo Introduced in March 2008, YouTube Insight data and stats on video usage. In May of that year, they added demographic data. And that October, they unveiled Click-to-Buy, which used their Content ID system to find copyright-violating music and video on UGC content on the site and slap ads on it that would pay the content owners (and also worked with media companies’ videos).

I know what you’re thinking. Wait a second, Jordan—the last one doesn’t have anything to do with data.

And you’d be right. Until now. YouTube’s Content ID and Insight programs are linking up—now data owners will be able to view stats from not just the videos that they own, but also others’ videos that use their content:

Previously, when you claimed a video with Content ID, we were only able to show you basic information (like view counts and tags) associated with the video you claimed. But now, all the statistics and data we share directly with uploaders in YouTube Insight is available to Content ID partners too, making our content management tools more useful than ever — especially for partners whose claimed user videos generate lots of views for them. For example, using Insight with claimed content, Sony Music learned that the JK Wedding Entrance Dance video is currently the music label’s 8th most popular video on YouTube.

Now content owners will have access to lots more data from UGC videos that use their content:

  • rankings
  • demographics
  • discovery sources
  • “other metrics for videos that you’ve claimed”
  • and compare them to their own uploads

Yes, you’ll be able to tell if those two-bit hacks are totally upstaging you with their blurry, shaky video of amateur dancing and poor sound quality.


While I’m all for more data, I wonder if this isn’t going to be a gateway for abuse. The Content ID system is used to identify copyright-infringing videos—but often, if the content owners can advertise on the UGC videos, the users are given tacit permission to use the content. If the content owners get jealous of these videos’ status and rankings, might they request removal because of copyright violations?

Yeah, in the end it’d probably be shooting themselves in the foot—but seriously, when do people ever have that much foresight when it comes to the Internet and business?

What do you think? Shouldn’t content owners have access to data from all videos using their content? Or is this going to open the gateway for content owners’ world YouTube domination?