I was scanning the headlines just now to see what’s going on in the world, and I scrolled down to find out Google bought YouTube.
The sale itself doesn’t surprise me. Google is snapping up innovative Web services across the Internet. They own Blogger, for instance, which is the service I use to create this Web site.
What surprised me was the price. Google spent $1.65 billion on the deal. Seems like an awful lot of money to me.
YouTube is innovative and a hot commodity, but consider two things pointed out in the article. Google now takes up YouTube’s copyright battles. Google does have some experience with the matter with Google Book.
Originally book publishers were up in arms about Google Book in fear of copyright infringement. Studies show, however, that Google Book actually helps sales.
But the difference between the search of books and YouTube is huge. Google Book only shows a searcher one or two pages of a book. It doesn’t show you the whole thing. YouTube is a different beast where people are posting full programs. How does Google control that? There are network deals to control some of the problems, but not all of them are covered.
The second problem is the fact that YouTube has yet to turn a profit. Many young Internet companies don’t turn profits right away, but with YouTube’s popularity one would think it would have happened already. It hasn’t. Google has a lot of profit power, so perhaps they can fix that.
It’s an interesting deal, although I see some potential problems and headaches for Google. I can’t wait to see what they do.