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YouTube vs. Viacom

I want you to tell you a little story.


It's 1982.  There is no Blockbuster, no Hollywood Video.  Just mom and pop video stores.  Like most, The VHS Hut struggles for business.  People aren't used to being able to watch videos in their home.  And it costs a LOT of money to buy the videos from the studios, some of them cost as much as $200!!!  And in the strip mall they're located, for some reason, everyone expects everything to be free.

In order for them to make a profit and stay in business, they charge other businesses to put up flyers in the store.  But they can't charge very much, no one is coming into the store because they only have videos of that guy down the street singing along to an Air Supply cassette.  No one wants to see that.

Then one morning, a box of tapes is left on the doorstep of VHS Hut.  They're copies of last night's Saturday Night Live.  Sure, Joe Piscopo sucks, but that Eddie Murphy sure is funny!  And they even got rid of the commercials!  That's the worst part of TV!  The guys that own VHS Hut are at a crossroads.

"Wait, we can't use these tapes!  We didn't buy them!"

"Chill out man.  It's the strip mall, old rules don't apply!  Trust me, it'll be radical!"

Now, people are coming into VHS Hut every day!  They're telling their friends!  And they tell THEIR friends! And people just keep leaving these awesome videos on the doorstep!

EVERYONE knows about VHS Hut!  And they can charge SOO much money to hang up flyers in the store, it doesn't even matter they have to put in new carpet every day from how much traffic is coming thru the store.  And the best part is?  THEY NEVER HAD TO PAY ANYTHING FOR THE TAPES!!!

Suddenly, Old Man Vyakom ( he's Russian ) shows up.  He's REALLY rich, but he's never even HEARD of VHS, and he's decided to check it out, since his damn kids are always talking about it when they aren't feathering their hair.   He's even tried selling his show on VHS, but it's not worth the effort, no one comes to his store to buy his show.  Now sure, the tapes he's selling aren't very good copies, because he still wants people to watch TV.  THis VHS thing is just a fad. But here's this store is giving away his show in better quality, and the people who pay him to put ads for their products, that pay to actually make the show, aren't happy.  No one is watching the show on TV anymore, and now it costs more to make the show than he gets to put it on the air!

And the worst part?  Billy, his daughters boyfriend who works in the mailroom, he's been sending tapes to VHS Hut!  Turns out he thinks people will watch TV more if people can watch some of it from VHS Hut for free.  This is completely unproven, and he didn't get permission from Old Man Vyakom, but everone in the mailroom thinks it's a great idea.

The sherriff comes into VHS Hut, which got sold to GOOCO fo, like, a bajillion dollars and says

"Old Man Vykom says you been stealin his "intellectual property"  Whatcha got to say for yourself?"

"You can't steal TV man, they give it away for freeeeeeeee"

With a shake of his head, The Sherriff laughs.

"We'll see what the Judge has to say bout that..."

And now GOOCO really wishes they had thrown out that shoe box with all the notes VHS Hut's owners sent to each other saying "Giving away all these stolen video tapes is the only thing keeping us in business.  Hope no one ever finds out we really endorse it!"


And so endeth my tale.

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Reader Comments (2)

Old Man Vykom ought to one up the mom and pop store by opening his own better store with even better quality and faster speed. He could charge even more money for advertising, and make more than enough to finance his future productions. Mr. Vykom, maybe let the market decide how they want to consume your media, and then build your business model around that?

March 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Wyszynski

How is there only 1 comment on this? This is genius!

March 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRay Sullivan

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