Google’s YouTube purchase

by Bharat Suneja

Google’s recent purchase of YouTube, the video sharing site, has been discussed and commented on ad nauseam all of last week. InfoWorld columnist Robert X. Cringely (often wondered if that is his real name :-) has an interesting take on it in his Notes From The Field column. Says Cringely about the eye-popping price Google paid for YouTube, “The price: $1.65 billion, or roughly $2500 per dancing cat video. I understand Sergey and Larry offered another $100 million for LongelyGirl15’s phone number.”

Jokes aside, the valuation of YouTube, a startup that’s less than a year old and not more than 70 employees, not to mention practically no revenues (from what I’ve heard or read) and with tonnes of content – including a lot of TV shows and other video clips, a lot of it in violation of copyright laws – is astounding. How a small startup like YouTube became the web destination of choice for videos, competing and winning against Google’s own Google Video site is indeed quite amazing – the stuff Silicon Valley mythology is made of.

Personally, I’ve used YouTube ever so often to view content from links emailed by friends. Increasingly, it also serves as a DVR if you don’t have one at home or if you forgot to record a show. Not much of a TV viewer myself, I’ve recently found a couple of shows that I wanted to watch but did not DVR (yes, have your “DVRed” it? is part of the common lingo now – DVR is used as a verb!). These were on YouTube the next morning!

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