It isn’t often I laugh out loud at a letter. Especially when it’s two companies arguing about apps and services. Normally the letters between the two are very straight forward and not that funny, but this one is great.
Let me set the scene. Google have YouTube apps for a few different OS’s and they are all pretty much great. Google never made one for Windows Phone, Microsoft had to make their own, it was rubbish. Rumours have it that Microsoft made a great Metro app years ago and just needed a few tips from Google to get it to work properly. That never happened and then a few days ago Microsoft issued an update to their YouTube app. It’s great. It has lots of features and I really like it.
However, we all knew it would cause problems though because you can download via the app and adverts are blocked, meaning that Google would lose revenue from adverts. It was just a matter of how long before something hit the fan.
Well lo and behold Google have complained about it. Francisco Varela, the Director for Global Platform Partnerships at YouTube, sent a letter to Todd Brix. Which asks for Microsoft to remove the YouTube app from the Store by Wednesday, May 22nd. In addition to this they also asked for users who have already installed it to have the download function disabled.
Google said the following.
“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 ongoing revenue source for creators, and causes harm to the thriving content ecosystem on YouTube. In addition, your application overrides specific decisions made by some content creators to keep their content from displaying on certain types of devices, which in many cases are due to exclusive distribution arrangements those content creators have with third parties. YouTube’s agreements with creators give them choices in how their content is presented and distributed, and your application takes away that control.”
So far it all makes sense and what Google are saying seems perfectly acceptable. The fun starts with the reply from Microsoft who have seemingly done all of this to force Google into action. Here is the response.
“YouTube is consistently one of the top apps downloaded by smartphone users on all platforms, but Google has refused to work with us to develop an app on par with other platforms. Since we updated the YouTube app to ensure our mutual customers a similar YouTube experience, ratings and feedback have been overwhelmingly positive. We’d be more than happy to include advertising but need Google to provide us access to the necessary APIs. In light of Larry Page’s comments today calling for more interoperability and less negativity, we look forward to solving this matter together for our mutual customers.”
So no doubt we’ll see an update for the app soon disabling the offending functionality, which will hopefully then be followed by another Google approved version. If you haven’t installed it yet, I’d suggest you get over to the Store now before it gets removed.