Contract Negotiations

In the past couple years, YouTube has changed a great deal. There was a time when it was a free for all, and anyone who had some content could slap it online and show the world. The abundance of content (much of which being illegal) forced YouTube to adjust the intense pressure on its engines. This led to the partner program. In April, when everyone had the power to be a partner, the age of networks officially began.

Now, networks can offer creators things that YouTube no longer can, such as music licensing, protection (from things like click-bombing), and promotion. Naturally, all these things come at a price, so networks are constantly looking for content creators to sign. Now, more than ever, it has become vital for content creators to learn how to protect themselves.

For this reason, I poked around online for advice about contract negotiations. First, I listened to “Business English Pod :: Learn Business English Online.” The two episodes I listened to focused on a staged negotiation between a business owner, Sam, and a representative of a vehicle leasing company, Larry. The first podcast focused on the art of seeking concessions – how do you make sure that your interests are protected? In order for Sam to protect his interests, which in this case was not being charged too much for mileage, he referenced objective criteria by pointing out a competing company that gave him a better deal. This kind of objective criteria was sewn into a careful use of language that was more based in suggestions than demands. This is an address of the “people problem,” which is that people have emotions that play a part in negotiations.

The second podcast focused on the “fine print.” Sam and Larry discussed warranty terms and response time for service. The podcast stressed that the contract should address specifics about who pays for what when, and who does what when. While in the first podcast, Sam addressed the people problem with suggestions, in this podcast, he addresses it by setting a positive tone with the phrase “I like where this is going.”

The third podcast I listened to was Salary Talk. Linda Babcock, a professor of economics who specializes in dispute resolution and negotiations, came on the show to discuss her book, Women Don't Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation. In the discussion, some disturbing points from studies were brought up. For example, men are four times more likely to negotiate their salaries than women are. Also, 85% of men polled believed they determined their own worth, while 83% of women believed their worth was determined by their employer. Babcock said that women are more likely to be apprehensive about negotiations because of what culture taught them growing up, and they can alleviate that stress by being properly prepared before entering a situation in which they must negotiate.

When looking into networks for my content, I will keep all of the above in mind. I need to protect my interests while being willing to make concessions, and I need to maintain the position that I define the value of my work and my content.

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