Is YouTube Really Hurting Viacom?

It seems every time I see an article on Google’s YouTube service, there is some mention of the horrible amount of copyright infringement taking place, and how the major media companies are poised and ready to bring the monolith down for daring to allow users to upload their content. It is hard to understand exactly what these media uploads actually do to companies like Universal, Warner Brothers, and of course Viacom. Companies will contest that their content is for them and them alone to distribute and this is understandable, though one has to wonder exactly how old snippets of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is really going to hurt ratings.

How often does Viacom play old episodes of The Daily Show? Do they release season DVDs? Something tells me that people who come across these clips onYouTube actually tune in to The Daily Show when it airs, having been turned on to the program from the back episode clips they found on the site. Someone is far less likely to randomly decide to go to ashows website to learn about it than they are seeing a clip or snippet that they find entertaining enough to check out the show. More than anything, I would consider the slips that appear on YouTube to be free advertising.

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