I’m reluctant to trust the Wall Street Journal after they apparently Brian Williams-ed us with their overblown Google Preferred story, but they’re asking questions about Jimmy Fallon, so we’ll learn to trust again.
As it turns out, NBC doesn’t monetize the Jimmy Fallon clips they post to the Tonight Show YouTube channel. And why not? Because, allegedly, they object to YouTube taking 43 percent of the Adsense monies — NBC is holding out for a better rate.
What the Wall Street Journal did was ask “How much money is NBC leaving on the table potentially, by not monetizing Fallon?” It’s a damn good question.
As the WSJ points out: Fallon’s show averaged 333 million views in February. Of course some outliers exist: that Will Ferrell lip sync battle brought in 33 million views. Also, no company worth its salt would monetize ALL its videos (monetization does lose you some impatient viewers), so they determined that if NBC monetized one in four Fallon videos, NBC would be making $500,000 to $600,000 a month from his videos alone. Damn. That’s $7.2 million a year AFTER YouTube takes its Adsense bite.
Of course, what the WSJ needs to learn is that you have to think like a businessman. Am I being facetious? Absolutely — the hell if I’m going to tell America’s business newspaper how to think like a businessman. But the bottom line is, NBC is playing chess, not checkers, as the old metaphor goes. Think of the money they’d be losing for the rest of time if they did accept YouTube’s standard rate — better to lose a few shekels now (or a few million) than a billion shekels later.
There’s an answer out there for all that unclaimed money, we’ll just have to wait and see what it ends up being.