Posts Tagged ‘Google’

The piling on continues: Should Google sell off Youtube?

June 21, 2008

Do you remember the good ol’ days of YouTube? Back when a private company owned it and you could post and view whatever you wanted up there and no one would say a word because, well, it was practically bankrupt and copyright owners knew they wouldn’t get anything out of a lawsuit? Those were the days, weren’t they?

Now, after a $1.65 billion buyout by Google, YouTube is not only a veritable junkyard for all the crap we didn’t watch a couple years ago, but a bloated mess that costs too much to operate, has a huge lawyer target on it, and barely incurs revenue.

And to make matters worse, Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, has no idea what to do about it.

Speaking to The New Yorker, Schmidt said that it “seemed obvious” that Google should be able to generate “significant amounts of money” from YouTube, but so far, it has no idea what to do.

“The goal for YouTube is to build a tremendous community….In the case of YouTube we might be wrong,” he said. “We have enough leverage that we have the leverage of time. We can invest for scale and not have to make money right now, he said. Hopefully our system and judgment is good enough if something is not going to pay out, we can change it.”

More here

Youtube responds to getting its ass kicked by Hulu

June 21, 2008

YouTube has loads of traffic but hasn’t been able to make money on it, whereas Hulu is successfully selling against its free, legal TV programmes and movies
June 19, 2008 5:00 PM

Google’s YouTube was recently given a kicking by billionaire “blog maverick” Mark Cuban, who pointed out that Hulu is kicking YouTube’s Ass. It doesn’t have more visitors or serve up more videos, of course. However, Hulu has 100% legal premium content that it can monetize — TV programmes such as Sex & The City, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, and movies such as Juno and Lost in Translation — and YouTube, basically, doesn’t. Indeed, if it did, YouTube could be forced to remove them.

What makes it even better for Hulu is that it can exploit YouTube. As Cuban says:

Hulu posts clips, not full episodes, clips on its YouTube channel and elsewhere on YouTube. Those clips are preroll AND overlays AND post rolls promoting Hulu and its full episodes of shows and movies. All of which costs Hulu the ginormous cost of ….nothing. From which it generates traffic to its Hulu site on which it sells, to the point of often selling out, display and preroll ads. That’s the ultimate arbitrage. We pay you nothing, and you send us traffic that generates ad revenue for us.

The economics are straightforward, and bad news for YouTube:

the more traffic Hulu generates, the more money it makes. The more traffic YouTube generates, the more money it loses… Maybe they think they will make it up with even more volume?

What YouTube can do, of course, is copy Hulu and offer longer, legal content that it can sell against. To this end, it has emailed its content partners as follows, says Sillicon Alley Insider:

Long Form Content
You now will be able to upload and monetize videos in your account that are longer than 10 minutes. This feature is exclusively for partners. Independent Film makers that partner with us will now be able to upload their feature films on our site. Please note that for long form content, the maximum file size is 1GB.

That’s enough for a full-length movie at YouTube quality. Whether these “independent film makers” will come up with enough good stuff to take on Hulu, which is backed by NBC Universal and News Corp, is another matter. It’s better than nothing, which is pretty much what YouTube has at the moment.

Comment (added later): Hulu is US-only and has a limited amount of content, but it is still new: it was officially launched just three months ago, on March 12, 2008. For more on the background see Hulu starts private beta, while NBC rubbishes iTunes business, below.


Preview of New Google “Android” cellphone

May 31, 2008

Ck. out the video below. It’s a bit dry but then you see the interface and features after about 60 seconds. Read more details here.

Google Street View images

May 27, 2008

This is oddly interesting.