FT Says Google in “Frantic” Talks

The FT has chosen a strange word — “frantic” — to characterize Google’s ongoing negotiations with media companies about YouTube. While that may be, there is nothing in the piece to warrant such a description, just more text about how Google CEO Eric Schmidt et al., continue to meet with media companies to work out a revenue-sharing deal around YouTube’s use of copyrighted content.

Google is engaged in a frantic round of negotiations aimed at
persuading traditional media companies to supply their content to
YouTube, the video website it bought last month for $1.65bn, and ward
off a potentially crippling round of lawsuits.

Chief executive Eric
Schmidt and other managers have met CBS, Viacom, Time Warner, NBC
Universal, News Corp and others, say people familiar with the talks,
offering tens of millions of dollars in upfront payments for the right
to broadcast their video content legally on YouTube.

Maybe I just have a higher bar for frantic.


  1. The implication of FT’s “frantic” here is that Google is disadvantaged in the negotiation, that time is on the side of the content owners and that if Google doesn’t come to an agreement quickly the acquisition will prove costly.
    There definitely is a time crunch here, if traffic begins to go elsewhere the value of the YouTube brand dwindles. And what is there but a brand?
    If copyrighted material is “safer” with shallow pockets frantic may be apt. It isn’t really the money, it’s the appearance of the thing. Well, ok it’s the $1.65 bn that amplifies the appearance.
    But I think FT is oldy-moldy media with an axe to grind, I’ll bet Eric is cool. :)

  2. Maybe the author meant frantic in the sense of a frenzied pace, rather than in a sense of panic or distress. In that case, it’s standard journalistic hyperbole. The same goes for the idea of a ‘crippling’ round of lawsuits.

  3. Richard Rodgers says:

    Interesting…my first reaction is like Andi’s above; that Google is disadvantaged in the negotiation. But the more I think about it, I wonder if that’s really true.
    Two points:
    1) Google’s share of the Internet ad revenue is staggering
    2) YouTube’s share of online video viewing is staggering.
    I’m not sure it’s not the networks who are disadvantaged in the negotiation…I’d love to be a fly on the wall at that table.
    At any rate, I’m sure Google isn’t “frantic”.