The copyright police units at several media companies have aggressively fought to keep their protected works off free access sites like YouTube. These efforts are rooted in the long held belief that copyrighted works should controlled by their owner. The advent of viral marketing, file sharing, and user-generated content has turned this mindset on its head. Should media companies change their relationship with the YouTubes of the world from adversarial to collaborative?
YouTube is working with content creators to drive sales with free videos and songs on its web site. The formula is exposure to the free content stimulates demand for buying a movie or song through legitimate channels. In this scenario, consumers are buying, not pirating, copyrighted works. Thus, rather than fighting free distribution with an aggressive monitoring effort, entertainment marketers should be exploring ways to exploit tools such as YouTube to whet appetites of people who will pay for entertainment.
Link: The Daily Online Examiner - "YouTube: Free Clips Boost DVD Sales"