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If you can’t beat them, buy them

October 11th, 2006

Does it make sense for Google to spend $1.65 billion to buy YouTube?

Sure it does – as long as they’ve figured out how to solve THE PROBLEM…

First, the plus side.

It’s an all-stock deal which is good news for both parties.

YouTubes’s co-founders, Chad Hurley and Steven Chen, won’t have to pay any tax on the sale until they sell stock. Trading Google stock for YouTube’s private stock is a like-for-like exchange, a non-taxable transaction.  Not bad for a year and a half’s worth of work.  (YouTube was founded in February 2005.)

Another big winner in the deal: Sequoia Capital.  They put in $11.5 million for a 30% stake in YouTube.
Payback: $495 million in Google stock. A 42,043% return in one year. Not bad.

Good deal for Google because $1.65 billion in Google stock is a lot easier for Google to come up with than $1.65 billion in cash. 

In between the time the deal was a rumor and a reality, Google’s market value went up over $3 billion, so if you value the YouTube purchase by Google’s market value, the company picked up YouTube for free. It fact, it was actually was "paid" to buy it by Wall Street.

YouTube is the 14th most visited site on the Internet, so acquiring it is going to give Google (currently #3) more traffic to play with. And traffic is their stock in trade. More traffic, more ad opportunities, more revenue. What form these ads will take, no one seems to know, but it’s a solvable problem.

By the way, Google’s current market value is somewhere in the vicinity of $132 billion, so this deal represents about 1.3% of Google’s total value. For Google to spend 1.3% of its worth to sew up the  Internet’s leading 800 pound gorilla video site makes total sense.

But here’s THE PROBLEM and I haven’t heard any convincing solutions to it yet.

How is Google going to deal with all the copyright lawsuits?

The fact is YouTube it chock full of copyrighted material. (Frankly, that’s part of its appeal.)

It’s one thing for YouTube – a money-losing start up – to get away with that. In their previous state, they were judgement proof. But that’s not the case any more. YouTube is now part of cash-rich, paint-a-legal-bullseye-on-my-forehead Google.

I have to think the lawsuits are going to be coming fast and furious.

Josh Burnoff of Forrestor Research was quoted by USA Today as saying "YouTube gets access to Google engineering that could, at the flick of a button, automatically filter out the copyrighted material."

That’s a good fantasy, but it has no basis in reality.

More likely is that many corporate copyright owners, appreciating the awesome power of Google, will try to make nice before launching legal attacks. That being said, the number of copyrights currently being violated is stupendenously large.

In any event, grabbing hold of the most important Internet video site was the right thing for Google to do.
If they didn’t do it, Yahoo! and others were waiting in the wings happy to pounce.

And as Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt said about the deal: "This is the next step in the evolution of the Internet."

I agree Eric, and if you’d been reading this blog, you might have been able to get in a year ago for a whole lot less.

And here’s my latest piece of advice…

To YouTube customers:

Start downloading your favorite YouTube videos today because Google is going to have to clean house in a major way – and soon. 

My guess is there will be a rapid-action pipeline set up between Google Legal and YouTube and as soon as credible complaints start coming in, there will be a team of people in place to – manually – make the copyright violating vides disappear one by one.

The "who cares about the copyright?" party so many of us have been enjoying as consumers will be coming to an end soon – at least as far as YouTube/Google is concerned.

P.S. Do you want to be notified when new articles like this one are posted to the blog?

Ken McCarthy was one of the pioneers of the movement to commercialize
the Internet and was involved in early tests of what have become
Internet promotion mainstays like e-mail marketing, banner ads, and
pay-per-click advertising.  If you go to Google Video and search the
term "marketing,"  a short film about his work is often in the top ten,
if not the number #1.

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Copyright: Ken McCarthy, 2006

Reprint rights: You may reprint this article in full as long as you print it in it’s entirety including the P.S.


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  1. October 11th, 2006 at 13:58 | #1

    I think copyright issues are the least of our worries. The biggest shame is that yet another independent resource has been swallowed up by Google. Roll on the Ginternet… 🙁

  2. October 11th, 2006 at 14:28 | #2

    It’s the Spanish Armada being defeated by the little English swift ships. Google’s getting all worried about this apparent foe or big fat cat when their real demise is lurking in social bookmarking which is going to privatize networks such as video networks and crush corporate search anyway within the next two years. And that they can’t control.

  3. October 11th, 2006 at 14:29 | #3

    Actually, Yahoo was in conversations to acquire YouTube a while ago, but Google outsmarted them.
    I see this move as a good sign. I mean, a couple of guys coming with the next big idea and cashing in really nice. At least this types of deals motivate all of us to be creative…. ok I have to go to create a startup or two:)

  4. October 11th, 2006 at 14:49 | #4

    Google will eventually be able to acquire whatever it desires (eventually may have arrived already), but as others have observed, with enormous reach and range come enormous potential liabilities and legal quagmires, never mind that one’s market cap one day gains allow $1.6 billion outlays to be sneezed at.
    As many shares as are outstanding, a few cents one way or the other can equal a few hundred million dollars, so what comes quickly can go just as quickly.
    Problems? Sure. Solutions? Indubitably. Good Solutions? Probably more likely than not.
    Wish I’d bought Google at the IPO

  5. October 11th, 2006 at 14:53 | #5

    Since Larry Page and Sergey Brin have made their goal to Dominate the Online and Offline world…this is just another show of them getting their way. We ALL know they do it their way and show others the hiway.

  6. October 11th, 2006 at 15:16 | #6

    Once again Ken you’ve thought of something that us ‘lesser mortals’ have missed. Always interesting, never dull. ttfn

  7. October 11th, 2006 at 15:43 | #7

    As I was pondering the news of this acquisition by Google, I began giving some thought as to what revenue model Google was going to use.
    Here’s a few I thought of:
    1. Paid subscription service –with 100 million subscribers Google wouldn’t have to charge much to recoup it’s investment.
    2. Similar to #1 but offering a royalty to the copyright holders. This could get Google around the copyright issue. The copyright holders could allow Google to charge for access and receive a royalty.
    3. Showing Google ads or links to affiliate programs selling relevant entertainment cd’s ,dvds,etc.
    Any others come to mind?

  8. October 11th, 2006 at 18:38 | #8

    Online piracy is redefining the meaning of distribution channels, user-generated content, fandom, and most important of all, defining brand immersion.
    OK, now some concrete exmples.
    1) Distribution channels:
    It used to be that producers produce Desperate Housewives, and TV stations distribute Desperate Housewives. It was a simple but effective arrangement. BitTorrent saw an end to that, and producers had to distribute the shows directly. Since one cannot exist without the other, the distribution channel’s function has reduced to that of a promoter, helping to seed the series with initial audiences.
    Here’s another example. Newsagents (as they are called in Australia, or newspaper stores) used to distribute classified advertisements for newspapers. When CraigsList appeared, newspaper classifieds were forced online too. Since newspapers did not compensate the newsagencies, the response of newsagencies were form an coalition of their own and provide a online classified service to their customers, who are already hungry for such a service.
    2) User generated content and fandom
    Very few people are creative enough to create brand new content, but it doesn’t mean that people can’t enjoy themselves pretending they are creative: Look at the thousands of Karaoke bars that pepper Asia. YouTube is one of these Karaoke style outlets. They in their own are no threat to the producers. In contrast, they salt the audiences who may be primed to buy DVDs of the Colbert Report or some long tail Japanese TV game show.
    3) Brand immersion
    A successful brand has to enjoy being touched at many contact points. After all, a fandom is one of the best word of mouth. To call them pirates when they are literally breaking the law to promote your product does not fully appreciate what potential they are capable of. Online stores have appreciated that having an offline contact point, such as a real address or a phone number boost sales. Offline products like TV shows HAVE to embrace an online distribution channel as much as any other channel.

  9. October 11th, 2006 at 18:58 | #9

    Very interesting thread – thanks Ken. Very thought provoking.
    So it’s a done deal and Google Machine gets bigger … great 🙁 but it could be worse … Microsoft could have purchased it 🙂 . Always look on the Bright Side Of Life!
    Anyway not to be negative about it… I would like to hear more about what Dr. Max has to say . The second comment in this thread; that of social bookmarking.
    Would anyone like to elaborate further? Ken what are your thoughts here?
    Thanks for a great post.

  10. Bruce Barnes
    October 11th, 2006 at 19:39 | #10

    I go to youtube to look at video not to click on ads. Noboby has said how much youtube was losing and the burn rate. All google wants to do is keep the brand and sneak in ways through ads to generate money.
    That is a fad site with many clones coming every day. Remember broadcast.com that yahoo bought for 6 billion? Google stock will be trending down from now on not up. The law of large numbers is catching them. We are heading into a recession with declining ad revenue their bread and butter.

  11. October 11th, 2006 at 21:33 | #11

    A smaller Google item appeared in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal about Google beefing-up thier “Docs&Spreadsheets” services and offering basically “Office-Lite” for free online in competition with Microsoft’s (ever)forthcoming Office 2007.
    Suddenly it dawned on me that Google’s model is not to charge for subscription or download but to give you every info-content-toy free accompanied by ads. That’s exactly how they’re approaching the potential copyright threat of YouTube — by offering content owners a share of ad revenue.
    Google will hopefully be able to buy off enough content providers with ASCAP or BMI style licensing to keep the lawsuits down to an acceptable level — far below the advertising windfall they stand to gain through dominating video advertising the way they dominate search advertising.

  12. October 11th, 2006 at 22:40 | #12

    For those who would suggest that Google can monetize their YouTube acquisition by making YouTube a paid subscription service is off base. Google fully understands they absolutely would fail turning it into a paid subscription service simply because they’d easily lose at least 95% of their current user base.

  13. October 11th, 2006 at 23:29 | #13

    Great posts! Thanks.
    Here’s a report from the ground from someone who is a heavy user of both services.
    Sounds like YouTube not only has a bigger audience than Google, they also have a better handle on how to provide Internet video sharing services.
    “I have 49 videos on Google and 10 on YouTube.
    YouTube has their act together better than Google, which lingers still in Beta; I have encountered problems with Google dragging their heels on listing all my videos; I have pointed out to them several times over that some of my videos (about 10%) are missing, to no avail; also, several days in a row three times now, my stats have not been recorded at all. Google always says they’re aware of issues and are working on them; I have never had this problem with YouTube.
    Positive on Google: they will let you upload any size/length video, whereas to upload anything longer than 10 minutes/100 MB on YouTube, you have to be in the director’s program, which entails having a website and getting accepted.
    Another thing I can add: YouTube posts videos much faster than Google does. It takes only a few minutes to get your video on YouTube, especially if you are using a compressed format.
    Google takes much longer to upload; depending on which method you’ve chosen to upload to the site (there are two methods), there can be a second step involved as well.
    In the beginning, I waited as long as 3 days to get my videos on Google, but they have improved since I started with them; now, they may take only up to one day, sometimes just a few hours, if you use the long method (which I prefer, because you can choose up to 3 categories to be included in); if you go the short method, you are able to pick only one category. Using this method, you can be up and running quicker, but not as quick as on YouTube, which is lightning fast.
    I have uploaded MPEG, WMV and RealVideo files. I feel that since the resolution of neither Google nor YouTube is cutting edge, you’re better off using less memory.
    I also seem to get a larger audience, faster with YouTube, even though I have a captive group that watches my Google videos and less of a built in audience with YouTube. Nevertheless, I am “discovered” more on YouTube … still wondering why, as I don’t know how they steer their viewers beyond the use of key words…
    I just discovered something new; I had never made changes to a video after it was running, but just did so as there was something I forgot to say in the writeup category. So I want to amend what I said in my last email, about only one category available via the short method in Google … I discovered that after you have uploaded your video and it is running, you can select three categories if you click on your account, go to the list of your uploaded videos, then click on “edit”. This will take you to a page where you can choose 3 categories instead of just one.
    I just uploaded a new video to Google (my 50th on that site), and it took over one hour to do what YouTube does in ten minutes.”

  14. October 11th, 2006 at 23:53 | #14

    I agree with Steve O’Keefe’s comment “Google’s model is not to charge for subscription or download but to give you every info-content-toy free accompanied by ads. That’s exactly how they’re approaching the potential copyright threat of YouTube — by offering content owners a share of ad revenue.” This is Google’s most likely monetization approach for YouTube given their Adsense content ad program has proven to be fairly successful to date through revenue sharing with outside website owners (regardless of all the Death of Adsense hype and related non-sense).
    And if this doesn’t sufficiently appease most copyright owners, then they’ll monetize YouTube via their Adwords partnership ad network approach.
    And for those who don’t think ad clicking is a viable monetization approach, just know that Google has been testing for more than a year various ways to monetize online videos and they will be implementing their findings on YouTube soon enough.
    And regardless if we’re heading into a recession or not, Adwords advertising success will continue to grow in the next several years, given that far more offline advertisers than not still haven’t even tried Adwords yet alone experienced its successful DM methodology. As more become familiar with just how powerful Adwords advertising is for them, they will continue to move more of their ad budgets over to Google’s ad networks in the coming years.

  15. Ken McCarthy
    October 12th, 2006 at 12:55 | #15

    More searches, more pages views, more revenue opportunities for Google’s winning ad formula.
    It makes sense.
    Jeane’s comments about the superiority of YouTube is interesting. That means in spite of its much vaunted technical prowess, Google was not able to compete technically on a key point: ease of upload.
    Ease of upload = more content = more viewers. Seems like a simple formula.
    I know that in my particular areas of interest, the YouTube selection beat Google Video by a mile.

  16. Ken McCarthy
    October 12th, 2006 at 13:12 | #16

    Found an old post of mine from 1995 (yes, 1995)
    It was something I said at a conference:
    “The big companies, like Microsoft and America Online, don’t have the intelligence in-house to go after all the small, but lucractive niche markets that exist. They have bright people in-house and they organize them well, but they don’t have the kind of creative intelligence that can move into an unstructured situation and create something new that works and generates cash flow. They’re good at taking something like that and pumping it up to a large scale. But they don’t have the spark that comes from individuals and small teams of people who are dedicated to creating something from scratch. You have the opportunity to go into a new field, the Internet that doesn’t have a lot of competition and has a wide open panorama of opportunities. There are people with really deep pockets who will be delighted; if you come up with something successful, to give you a lot of money for it. Look at Global Network Navigator. They created a web site; a good web site but not the greatest and they got eleven million dollars for it when they sold it to America Online, two million in cash and nine million in stock. And there are other stories like that and there will be many more.”
    Like YouTube for example…

  17. Ken McCarthy
    October 13th, 2006 at 10:04 | #17

    Jeanne sent this analysis from the WSJ:
    As I said to someone today, the Google YouTube purchase is the “Netscape IPO” of Internet video.
    If the rest of the world has been slow to “get it” they definitely get it now. Historically, this is when the REAL fun begins. The period after Netscape’s IPO (1995) was a gold rush for many people.

  18. October 13th, 2006 at 10:11 | #18

    I have used both also, and much prefer Youtube.
    Will Google recoup their investment?
    I believe so. Google has usually done the “impossible” from the get go.
    I agree too…that “social bookmarking” is Google’s biggest threat. I can see them buying out del.icio.us or similar soon.
    But that is going to be a much harder nut to crack.

  19. October 13th, 2006 at 10:27 | #19

    My feeling is that along with the other reasons, Google purchased YouTube because of the amount of traffic they have. I believe I read they are 14th most visited site.
    Could any of the other top 14 sites have been purchased for anywhere near this price?
    I am also surprised how many people never even heard of YouTube.com until this purchase. With all of this press on the deal I am sure that the traffic will have increased even further.
    Isn’t one of the most important things about having a website the amount of visitors you can generate?
    How long will it take for Google to get back it’s investment from PPC ads on YouTubes site?
    In watching Googles growth I haven’t seen them make many mistakes so I am sure that this was well thought out by them.
    Ken Frazza

  20. Dane Maxwell
    October 13th, 2006 at 10:30 | #20

    Where did you find that information on google testing video ads for over a year?

  21. October 13th, 2006 at 10:46 | #21

    Very very interesting. I lecture in a Collge in Ireland and if it’s not bebo it’s youtube.
    I suppose one interesting thing comes out of this, you never know when you could create a successful site! Gives us all hope, if we actually develop good and interesting sites/products
    Although the idea of a ginternet is a little scary, he who controls the information….

  22. October 13th, 2006 at 11:15 | #22

    Google essentially got YouTUBE for NOTHIN’!!
    Their stock price went up $4.24 on the announcement. That means the cost of $1.65 billion in GOOGLE TREASURY STOCK was ZERO.
    There IS no investment from the Google point of view.
    Just another asset at NO COST.
    They don’t HAVE to monetize the property to make money.

  23. October 13th, 2006 at 11:50 | #23

    Just goes to show you how valuable traffic is.

  24. October 13th, 2006 at 11:57 | #24

    Seems like a lotta fungolas for YouTube.com, but I agree it was a good purchase. I’ve posted a couple of videos on each and would echo Jeanne’s comments on the ease vs. difficulty issues of posting on either.
    From a user standpoint, I only really sit down and search for stuff with my kids. My 6-year old wants to see cute animal videos that make him laugh – and there are hundreds or thousands. My 14-year old and his buddies keep watching some odd game-based videos that they crack up from.
    I do know of a podcast marketing company here in Oregon (www.podcastradioshow.com) that videotapes their podcast and uploads the videos to Google – and if you do a search for their keywords they’re dominating the niche – and getting views and more podcast listeners. I think either Google or YouTube could be used as a springboard for grabbing more listeners.
    Just for fun I posted the ‘video tour’ of my site at DigitalAudioWorld.com just to see if ANYBODY would EVER watch it and it’s got a few dozen views, which has undoubtedly brought a few new viewers to my website. So, as a free marketing tool, if you’re not utilizing it you’re missing something.

  25. October 13th, 2006 at 12:14 | #25

    Well, google can always place video ads before every clip to generate revenues from youtube, but wont that throw the viewers away?
    what if i start something similar to youtube without any sort of ad?
    do you think people will start visiting my site instead?

  26. Michael Thompson jr
    October 13th, 2006 at 12:19 | #26

    I echo many of the sentiments already posted…this purchase really didn’t cost Google anything! The Google powers that be, will figure out multiple ways to monetize they’re new video property. The Google machine continues to grow, and eat up everything in it’s way, as well as dictate the evolution of the internet and it’s impact on communication, content, research, and connectivity. Where will Google be in another 5 years???

  27. October 13th, 2006 at 12:29 | #27

    I see the next big step for Google to be hiring a bunch of lobbyists and sending them off to Washington. And, the ones they send will no doubt be about to outthink the present batch of Washington powers that be in their sleep.
    Imagine how much more Google could do if they turned all content posted on the web into some kind of legal licensing system similar to mechanical royalties for radio stations. They would be able to use ever bit of copyrighted material they could get their hands on, and pay a very small fee for its use.
    The precedent is already there with radio. The internet is just another form of media. They have the money now to get in there and get this put into law before the lumbering film and television studios would even know what happened. And, of course, a little extra sentence in there, thrown in discreetly at the last minute, could probably do the same for all the printed materials that they’ve been fighting so hard to be able to use.
    They could completely destroy ownership of intellectual property rights before anyone even noticed.

  28. Christopher Bence
    October 13th, 2006 at 12:53 | #28

    If Google starts charging to view videos the site will die, and they know this. There are way too many “Youtube” like sites out there. Google knows they have to be careful not to chase people away because there are so many competitors around. I think they will apply the same model of their ads but with videos. I think a majority of people watching Youtube videos are just killing time, thus if Google can show that if a Corp. makes an online commercial with a link at the end along side a video or before one the likely hood of some one following the link is a certain percentage. And since people watching the videos are not looking for anything in particular, they will be able to be pulled in a certain direction.
    This would have to be done right, and if so, would be very affective. Especially a 17 to 24 demographic.
    It would be just like in an argument when some one pulls the argument off on a tangent and completely shifts the direction of every one speaking to talk about what the tangent creator wanted.

  29. blankster
    October 13th, 2006 at 14:11 | #29

    For old and previously unnoticed copyrighted content that has been collecting dust prior to YouTube, Google will figure out some compensation to the copyright owner that is more expeditious and viable for them than a lawsuit. For relatively new and/or popular copyrighted materials, YouTube is a marketer’s dream. Rather than a lawsuit, these owners should be working with Google to identify new ways to monetize their new found audience and building more viral buzz. The smart copyright owners will consider litigation as a pure last resort. This is a new Gold Rush. It’s time to stake claims, not start bar fights!

  30. October 13th, 2006 at 14:13 | #30

    There are two key things one should look at in the Google/YouTube transaction that are important.
    1. Trendsetting – “The Perfect Storm”
    2. Opportunity for Internet Marketers
    For point #1:
    1. The majority of the Western world is online
    2. Most of the Western world has broadband access (on a % basis)
    3. Video is the most powerful form of communication next to “being there”
    4. There are over 1.6 billion cell phones in use today (IDC Communications). Over 60% of new phones sold these days is video capable
    5. There are hundreds of millions of “personal video devices” such as video iPods in use (USA Today Article)
    6. Although it hasn’t taken off yet, Google’s play in the “Google Video Adsense” world is a first knock at the door of the $90 Billion a year television advertising business. Look at what Google did to the classified ads business. Think accountability, something television doesn’t provide
    7. Over 8 Billion video streams are watched each month on the free video hosting sites. YouTube alone is more than 100 million per day
    Think about it: there are more cell phones than computers in use. And there will be many more soon. Wireless broadband is basically here en masse. The “new generation” of 17-24 year olds is happy watching video on their cell phones. Us “old people” will get used to the experience, once there is exclusive content and the screens get even better.
    Virtual TV is here. Traditional broadcasting is more and more irrelevant as time marches on. I didn’t say obsolete, just irrelevant.
    It’s a game of numbers and eyeballs. That’s the big win for Google/YouTube.
    1. More advertising.
    2. “Click to Buy”.
    What happens when Google provides their “shopping cart technology” to online video producers to sell their digital products to cell phone viewers?
    For point #2, any Internet marketer can leverage the 270 and growing free video hosting services right now by:
    1. Making your own video (anyone can learn in 2 hours or less)
    2. Putting that video on as many free hosting services as possible
    3. Including a sales message, domain link and call to action in your video. If you want help with this, study the classic “Infomercial Formula” and take a page out of Direct Response Television. These guys figured it out 20 years ago…and it still works with Internet Infomercials. You just have to keep your message down to 30 seconds to under 7 minutes.
    Next: dominate a keyword and get free traffic. You get free, pre-qualified to your site. You also get lots of coveted incoming links to your site.
    If you want to see an example, go to video.google.com and type in “video marketing”. It’s a keyword we’ve selected to dominate. And it works. We get lots of qualified visitors to our product web site every day.
    Michael Koenigs

  31. October 13th, 2006 at 14:29 | #31

    My View from over the pond, here in the UK.
    Well according to the Buzz in the National Press
    On Wednesday, October 11th 2006.
    “From Shed To…SHEDLOADS”
    A quint English Term, For Lots of cash!
    With Questions Like:
    “Would you pay £889million for company that makes a loss?”
    Well having read the Post’s in this blog I feel better informed and confident in my decision to dip my toe in the “Online Video Social Networking” water and feel the temperature for myself. Thanks for the update, and I agree with the comment that Google will recoup their investment!
    I also agree…that “social bookmarking” is Google’s biggest threat.
    My Best Regards
    Malcolm Stephenson

  32. October 13th, 2006 at 15:34 | #32

    Others have said it but I’ll say it too: Google will cut a few verrrrrrrrrry large deals with folks like Time-Warner that will solve the copyright issue post-haste.
    Here’s how it’ll shake out:
    Because of media consolidation, 95% of the known copyrights are owned by 5% of the corporations. That means Google has a relatively small universe of players to cut deals with. As a result, most of that deal-making work can be done rather quickly…
    … and relatively cheaply, I might add, given the oceans of cash that will be generated by the traffic that Google has just bought.
    There will be MORE than enough money to satisfy everybody — all of the CEOs, studio heads, and corporate lawyers will get paid 100 times over.
    Sadly, only the artists themselves will be untouched by the money, but that’s the way it’s always been.
    One more thought:
    IMHO, Time-Warner, et. al, were always going to have a rather weak case to make vis-a-vis copyright infringement.
    How so? Because damages to TimeWarner were going to be even harder to show than in the case of Napster, Grokster, et. al.
    Here’s why:
    When you download a song from some P2P network, you are doing two things: you are essentially getting a high-quality duplicate copy of the original AND you are NOT buying the equivalent content from TimeWarner.
    But on YouTube, what are you doing? You are most certainly NOT getting a high-quality copy, nor are you taking any sales revenue from TimeWarner.
    If anything, YouTube has STIMULATED the demand for conventional content as owned by TimeWarner.
    Case in point: Stephen Colbert
    He has become a cultural icon AND a cash cow for Comedy Central, all because there are bazillions of people have seen him… on YouTube. Colbert certainly understands this and has played it to the hilt. Did you see the show the other night when he announced the winner of his “Green Screen Challenge?” Guess who showed up — Mr. Copyright himself: George Lucas. If the writing on the wall wasn’t clear up til then, it certainly is now.
    I guess the only people who have LOST ground are the politicians who embarrassed themselves by getting caught on video calling someone “macaca.” YouTube made them infamous and may have hastened the end of their careers. Way to go YouTube! We should give those two young guys the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
    Well, anyway, that’s just my opinion. I might be wrong.
    But I doubt it.
    P.S. Where’s your God now, Mark Cuban?

  33. October 13th, 2006 at 16:42 | #33

    7 years ago i was working on convergence theory at the practical level. google is bringing it one step closer to reality. googl itelf however admits it is not getting thoro brand followthru with its subsidiary services at this time, and will be working to educate the market on the availability of its suite of services. key to doing this is cuasing the market to understand “it’ not just a search engine anymore”–and google just bought itself a couple hundred million $ of viral by making this deal. this blog is an example.
    imho, people need to be thinking now about how to approach branding, brand management, brand design for a world that iews media off the net and not th airwaves. cause in about 5 years it will be here.

  34. Ben
    October 13th, 2006 at 18:07 | #34

    You’re hilarious. When has google cared about copyrighted material? Did you forget the “Let’s scan all the books in the world” project?

  35. October 13th, 2006 at 19:05 | #35

    I agree video marketing is the future for business,along with podcasting I think Google may have some other ideas up their sleeves besides adwords, though we all know that this is their main income source.
    While Youtube is free, I would hardly call it professional for businesses to promote their products either with video or adwords – unless they are geared towards teenagers.

  36. October 13th, 2006 at 19:29 | #36

    Check out the deals Google and Youtube have done this week. They will go a long way to solving their copyright issues.
    In fact, I believe companies are now realising, these videos are going a long way to helping sell their product.
    Google could have paid $3 Billion and it would have been a could deal for them.
    The companies which lead the way in bringing down Napster, have all signed deals with Google and Youtube. Both companies realise that by sharing the profits, copyright issues have a way of disappearing.

  37. October 13th, 2006 at 23:48 | #37

    The deals…this week Google signed deals with CBS, Universal Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music.
    Google CEO Eric Schmidt also made personal calls on News Corp (Rupert Murdoch), Time Warner, Viacom, CBS and other big content owners.
    So it looks like part of this week’s deal included having deals ready to sign with the companies most likely and able to sue.
    The Google juggernaut rolls on.

  38. October 14th, 2006 at 03:40 | #38

    I don’t think the problem is that google bought theme.
    I actually think it was the least of the worst. Think what would happen if Microsoft bought theme? or, AOL (god forbid)?
    Good for theme, they made their money the good way.

  39. Ken McCarthy
    October 14th, 2006 at 13:07 | #39

    Yes, somehow I can’t imagine Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer getting on a plane and making personal visits to their competitors and colleagues after a big purchase like this.
    They’d be too busy pounding their chests and crowing about how they’re going to use the deal to drive everyone else into the ground.
    (In case you couldn’t tell, I’ve never been a fan or admirer of the way Microsoft does business.)

  40. October 14th, 2006 at 23:11 | #40

    I agree with Jeanne that YouTube is much faster wrt video uploading, but I haven”t had any problems with google video. I have approx 40 videos on Google and get several hundred views per day from over there.
    The remark made above ref Google buying the Social Bookmarking site “delicious” .. well Yahoo owns them, as well as “Flickr”, the photo sharing site, so things could get interesting in the social bookmarking arena.
    I use PPC advertising to a small degree and Google has been offering advertisers the ability to create “Video Ads” now for a few months now.
    I created 4 ads around my theme on country music artists and received only 65 impressions (the ads were displayed on Adsense sites only 65 times)in the 30 days I had them active, and zero clicks. Video ads are so new that adsense participants likely don’t even know what they are yet? I haven’t personally ran across any myself on any websites.
    But I suspect with this new acquisition, video ads will be part of the surfing experience sooner than later.
    Kirby Swinemar

  41. October 15th, 2006 at 12:15 | #41

    1000 TIMES 1.6 BILLIONS.

  42. October 17th, 2006 at 11:30 | #42

    i like this comments by Gilbert:
    ” I see this move as a good sign. I mean, a couple of guys coming with the next big idea and cashing in really nice. At least this types of deals motivate all of us to be creative…. ok I have to go to create a startup or two:) ”
    its a sign for me 2

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