Friday, December 24, 2010

A year-end head-scratcher from Google

Last Wednesday, Google announced that it's giving $1,000 credits for purchases at B&H Photo to 500 of its YouTube Partners. I hate to fall into the "no good deed goes unpunished" category, but I'm scratching my head over Google's logic. Google's goal is to help its most popular partners improve the quality of their videos, but $1,000 doesn't go a very long way.

With $1,000, you can purchase a decent HD consumer camcorder, or a few lights, or a copy of Final Cut Studio, but not a computer to run it on. None of this is going to move the quality needle very much. Further, these grants are taxable, so the net value is considerably less than $1,000. The real value of the program seems to be to B&H--to get any real improvements, people will have to buy more than $1,000 worth of products, and they have to buy them from B&H. In addition, YouTube has 15,000 Partners, yet only 500 got the grants. That means that more than 96% of YouTube's partners are angry that they didn't get any money.

Google would have gotten a lot more value for its money if, instead of giving $1,000 to 500 partners, it gave $10,000 to 50 partners. With $10,000, you can buy much better camcorders (two Panasonic AG-AF100s, for example), or a complete editing and color-correction system. You can buy much better audio equipment. In fact, if you're careful, you can buy enough hardware and software to dramatically improve the quality of your videos, which is the point of the program.

If I received $1,000 from Google, I wouldn't complain, but this program seems like a waste of money.
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