The video-sharing war: Microsoft battles Google for equal YouTube rights

YouTube

Since January, Google and Microsoft have been clawing each other’s eyes out over YouTube.  The trouble started way back in 2010 when “Google blocked Microsoft’s new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube,” according an article on WP Central.

YouTube, bought by Google in 2006, is usually offered on smartphones with all the typical features, such as searching through video categories, rating videos, finding favorites. However, the problem began to arise when Microsoft introduced the new Windows Phones.

Google blocked these fancy features from working with the Windows Phone version of the YouTube app. The article says it’s “basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site.” It severely lacks the “functionality offered on competing phones.”

According to another article on Venture Beat, Microsoft planned to retaliate by creating a new “high quality” version of the YouTube app.  It would be similar to the current app running on Android and iOS powered smartphones.

While this would make things more equal for everyone, Google alleged,“the app enables users to download YouTube videos, prevents ads from being shown, and plays videos whose owners have set to only play on certain platforms.” Unfortunately, this violates a whole mess of terms and conditions.

The real threat comes against Google’s branding guidelines. The multi billion-dollar company tries incredibly hard to uphold a good brand reputation.  In an attempt to preserve Google’s name, it sent a cease and desist letter to Microsoft a few weeks ago, calling for an immediate halt on the development of its alternative YouTube app.

Branding is extremely important to social media agencies, as well as large Internet companies like Google. If bickering between competitors flares up (as it most certainly will from time to time), preserving the brand must be a top priority.

Microsoft has since released a statement noting its willingness to work with Google to resolve the issue, which could be as easy as allowing the popular YouTube app to function the same way on Windows Phones.

However, the funniest part of this entire feud is that after everything is said and done, neither Google nor Microsoft will be losing much money as a result of this fued. In fact, Google “recently hit 900 million Android device activations,” and Microsoft has been making $5 off of each Android device sold. Pretty ironic, huh? So while the war seems like a means to an end, there’s only a matter of time before the next app battle begins.

Written by Eric Dahl

Eric Dahl is currently an intern at award winning social media agency, fishbat inc. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 2013 with a BA in Journalism and a minor in German.
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