Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Google and YouTube Sitting in a Tree...

Big news for the little YouTube Universe. Yesterday, it was announced that Google is buying YouTube for 1.65 billion in pocket change. Wowie.

This purchase is said to signify the next internet boom and analysts are eagerly waiting to see if this one will bust again or strike gold. I was in the Bay Area for the first boom and reaped the rewards of suddenly rich friends, high paying jobs where I did nothing and the fresh flow of cash. I was also there when the landlords kicked us out so they could make 5 times the rent off of the out of towners flocking to the area and when everyone was living off of unemployment (that part was pretty nice).

It was like a massive, gross feast that we all gorged ourselves on that turned suddenly into a famine. It was, much like a bubble, full of its ups and downs, but it was also an interesting experience I'll never forget. I wonder what fun the next bubble will bring in its wake...

And, crucially, YouTube is not a flash in the pan. It is making the transition from the fringes to respectability at a rate rarely seen in the past. Just last month Universal, the world's biggest record label, was waving its fists at the site and threatening to sue over copyright infringement. Yesterday it was one of a number of labels jumping into bed with YouTube. That's how quickly things are changing.

But there's one other big reason for this $1.65bn deal.

To see it, all you need to do is take another look at that rags-to-riches story of how YouTube started: two geeks somewhere in a Californian back street put together a website that doesn't bother advertising but makes huge waves - within a year or two they are among the biggest names in the internet world.

Sound familiar? Of course it does.

The fact that Google sees something of itself in YouTube is one of the main reasons that it felt the price tag was justified. Whenever you talk to senior Googleplexers about the next big threat, they say it's not Microsoft or Yahoo, but a couple of unknown mavericks running out of a garage in suburbia.
- Bobbie Johnson, Comment is Free

Ahh, it is like Revenge of the Nerds all over again! For some fun, watch the embedded video below to see YouTube founders, Steve Chen and Chad Hurley giddly announcing the sale and the fact that they are billionaires in front of what I think is a TGIFs!?



The best part is at the end when they poke fun at P Diddy's (yep, Diddy and Paris are both selling on the YouTube these days) ridiculous video in which he cockily discusses his recent merger with Burger King while ordering a burger (see video here) .

You can also watch Lisa Nova's piss take on the Diddy (see video here) - she has his self-important, silly swagger down pat. Watch all three videos for some fun!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was $1.65 billion in stock, so technically everyone is just a paper millionaire.

And Google's stock went up like 5-10% after they announced the purchase, which covered the cost of YouTube.

Of course the biggest threat to YouTube is copyright holders getting uppity. Which I think is their right; GooTube has no right to profit off the work of everyone else without sharing the wealth a bit.

At least all the hipper-than-thou YouTubers can maintain their coolness because it was Google, and not Microsoft or Fox or someone lame, who bought the company.

Eva the Deadbeat said...

i'll take 1.65 billion in paper, yes, siree! a paper billionaire sounds pretty fine to me!

sharing the wealth with big corps is fine but in general i think the copyright laws need to be relaxed a bit. i would pay some copyright fees if they were in my price range, say $5/song but i obviously can't pay $100,000 cause i ain't no damn paper billionaire! but still, i AM DOWN with the googtube. we're all nerds here, (pguon) one big happy tech-savy, four-eyed, nerd-based love-fest!

casey said...

Like, who *owns* a clip of Faith no More playing on MTV's earliest version of TRL back in '91? Viacom? The label? Certainly not the band. There are zillions of such vids on YouTube.

The site rules because it's a clearinghouse of weird cultural crap (most of it deliciously bad) that time forgot. Us old-timers can grab a bottle of wine, park it in front of the computron and get our nostalgia on.

I'll be pissed if anyone f@#ks with that.

Eva the Deadbeat said...

hell yeah! the way i figure it, youtube and its odd copyright infringing clips are bringing attention to music and tv shows and film clips that are either too old to be watched or listened to anymore, or flew too low under most people's radar. isn't attention good, as long as bucks aren't being made?

these youtube copyright infringements might not quite fall under fair use but they should. as long as people aren't selling faith no more's TRL clip in some ad and making a million dollars offa it, who the hell cares?

personally, i would be pissed as hell if they took all my spice girl clips away from me. how else am i gonna watch baby spice on german TV talking about her dollies? or see posh spice getting roughed up by allie g? i would pay a coupla bucks for this pleasure but it seems stupid to deprive the few people interested in this stuff because it is a copyright infringement.

if googtube gets real strict, my username will be gone pronto, not that i infringe or anything, but.... ;)

Emily said...

I agree. Most of my favorite clips are new wave bands from the late 1970s - early 1980s and other weirdness.

If they disappear I will be livid. Where the hell can we find every video (even silly videos) ever made?

Eva the Deadbeat said...

i know! and what harm does it do to keep them posted!?? i think it is better to get them attention than let them disappear into the ether of the easily forgotten!

steve said...

"as long as people aren't selling faith no more's TRL clip in some ad and making a million dollars offa it, who the hell cares?"

The owners of YouTube just made $1.65 billion dollars off those TRL clips.

I love it for finding all of those nifty old videos and such, but I think it's pretty uncool that the only people making money off the work of the people that created said videos are its founders, and now Google.

What should happen is that anyone uploading--and owning--a video would get a cut of all ad revenue generated from the views.

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