Being a Windows Phone users I may be a little biased in regards to all the commotion involved with Microsoft’s official YouTube client for the platform, but even with that in mind, I feel the point I make in the below editorial is a fair assessment of events.
What ever reason Google gives for blocking Microsoft’s YouTube app on Windows Phone, the truth is Google, who own YouTube are trying to slow down Windows Phone adoption rate.
When MS originally released the much improved version of YouTube Google complained that it violated their terms and conditions firstly because it allowed downloading of the videos, and also because it didn’t allow adverts to be played before videos clips. Microsoft agreed to make changes, and we even heard that they would be working closely with Google to produce a version which adhered to Google’s so far fairly reasonable requests.
So that app was taken down, and the Windows Phone Store went back to offering the second rate link to the mobile website as an Official YouTube client. A few months later and MS bring back their better version of the app, complete with adverts and no downloads. And what happens? Anyone who tried using that app will be familiar with a pop up which appeared every time you attempted to play a video; “Something happened, we’re not sure what.”
What had happened was Google had remotely killed the apps access to YouTube videos, this time stating a few new reasons for their discontent. The app wasn’t coded in HTML5, and Google couldn’t stand “their” viewers having a degraded experience. The fact iOS and Android’s official YouTube apps aren’t coded in HTML5, and that this in no way degraded the viewing experience was ignored of course.
The difference between iOS and Android’s YouTube apps and the one appearing for a brief time on Windows Phone is the formers were made by Google themselves while the latter was done by Microsoft, due to the fact Google so far don’t think Windows Phone has a big enough user base to bother creating apps for. Google also argue that Windows Phone users still have access to YouTube, in the way of the mobile browser.
So, how does any of this imply that Google doesn’t care about YouTube content creators? After all, they insisted that any app had to have access to advertisement.
Well, whatever Google think of Windows Phone’s installed user base, which an estimate made back in June 2013 calculated to be at around the 32 million mark – a further 3 months on could put it well over the 40 million user mark, a great many of which will be after a good YouTube experience. 40 million users who could well be wanting a better quality YouTube stream than the mobile website offers.
Microsoft’s app offered High Definition streams, along with adverts. Instead, Windows Phone users like myself are now forced to seek out one of the very good third party clients available which have no advertising what so ever.
40 million potential viewers who, while still getting to enjoy the content are in no danger of clicking any ad during that time. Let me remind you of what Google wrote in their Cease and Desist letter back in May, following the app’s first appearance in the store:
“Content creators make money on YouTube by monetizing their content through advertising. Unfortunately, by blocking advertising and allowing downloads of videos, your application cuts off a valuable on going revenue source for creators, and causes harm to the thriving content ecosystem on YouTube.”
Am I the only one who thinks Google are being hypocrites here? Now they are the ones depriving their content creators of “valuable on going revenue” by blocking something in the possible region of 40 million viewers accessing both a premium YouTube experience and the adverts which are so important for video makers.
Until Google are prepared to allow Microsoft to release their version of the app, and stop making ridicules, inconsistent excuses, the conclusion which I have to come up with is that they couldn’t care less about Content Producers, and only used them as a pawn in their power trip.