With change in management, there’s always some questions about what policies and procedures will change.
CBS has always been relatively friendly with distributing videos of The Late Show on YouTube (most likely due to some contract agreements with show producers allowing them to do so). We find to a be a brilliant overall strategy that appeals to those of us who aren’t likely to tune in to watch the show air live but still want to see our favorite celebrities interviewed.
While CBS and streaming services like Hulu can’t seem to find a way to work together (CBS is the lone holdout in Hulu’s ownership, predominantly owned by ABC, NBC and FOX), you can watch most of Colbert’s The Late Show clips via YouTube.
Overall, YouTube seems like a perfect distribution for shows like The Late Show, where people most certainly are tuning in to watch an interview they heard about or perhaps a funny monologue moment by the show’s host.
For the longest time, clips from Saturday Night Live and sports highlights from the NFL were only available on third party YouTube channels and would often end up removed following a take down request by the content owner. But recently, most content owners have loosened the purse strings realizing that YouTube isn’t going away and it’s time to adapt (finally). As YouTube continues to attract more and more eyeballs (even developing YouTube original shows), traditional content owners will certainly want to distribute through the world’s most popular video service themselves in order to compete.
As to whether or not YouTube distribution can be profitable for these producers is another question entirely. There is no doubt an ad on YouTube doesn’t compare to the massive revenue still finding its way into television network’s pockets through traditional commercials, but perhaps the tide is changing as YouTube can flaunt massive viewership numbers, something traditional television distribution sees slowly declining.