Should YouTube Split Premium & Regular Content?

Hulu Plus came first, now should we anticipate YouTube Platinum?

An analyst knowledgeable of the online video company thinks that YouTube should spin off its website to feature quality content–for example, the 100-plus original channels that the company is funding right now.

Allen Weiner, an analyst at Gartner, told USA Today, “Advertisers don’t want to be in a place that doesn’t have some level of curation. They want to see the garbage separated from the good stuff.”

We all know that YouTube is pondering a subscription service to separate its quality content, and I couldn’t agree more with what Weiner had to say. Let’s face it—most of the stuff you see on YouTube is by and large garbage (my bosses can definitely back me up here). I know what you’re thinking—why are you hating on independent artists who are trying to put out something different? Millions of videos are floating in the YouTubeuniverse at any given time, and if you say you’re going to like two-thirds of what you see, I know you’re lying.

That said, separating the elite YouTube content from everyone else’s data dump is definitely not a bad idea on the surface. After all, Shishir Malhotra, vice president of product at YouTube, told USA Today that its “top five channels would rank in the top list of cable channels.” This means that advertisers would have a better reason to flock to YouTube and help its potential spin-off website, because they know that banking on quality content would be a sound investment to gaining loyal customers. When YouTube gets more money, partners win, right?

At the same time, splitting the website into the haves and the have-nots would only make it harder for independent creators to get through the cracks and would shift the costs of marketing and development towards successful, established creators or those handpicked by the YouTube regime.

It’s definitely not a bad idea to “have some level of curation,” as Weiner would say, but to separate the good from the bad at the expense of emerging independent artists means that a lot of thought must be made before going through with it.

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