February 20, 2010

Down With Embedding Bans

Earlier today I watched a YouTube video that was posted to Facebook by a friend. I tried to play it right on Facebook, where it was embedded into my news feed. But I got a warning telling me I was going to have to click through to YouTube if I wanted to view the video.

I did click through, then I rated the video one star, solely on the basis that the uploader had disabled embedding. I decided that this was how I was going to deal with the annoyance of YouTube video authors who figured it was more important for them to force me to visit the site than it was for me to see their video in a way that was convenient to me. They can essentially have a downvote. Not that my rating will make much of a difference, but I at least get to register my displeasure and possibly affect their "view count."

Then I read this. It's the story of how the band OK Go saw it's YouTube video views drop after EMI decided to disable embedding their popular song "Here It Goes Again."

When EMI disabled the embedding feature, views of our treadmill video dropped 90 percent, from about 10,000 per day to just over 1,000. Our last royalty statement from the label, which covered six months of streams, shows a whopping $27.77 credit to our account.

This doesn't surprise me. And it shows that other people would rather watch videos embedded rather than visiting YouTube. EMI (and other people who disable embedding) are shooting themselves in the foot.

I'll continue down-voting videos with embedding disabled. Maybe EMI and others will wake up. Maybe not.

Posted by James at February 20, 2010 4:18 PM
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