GooTube? I Wouldn't Be Surprised By Anything These Days

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 06, 2006

Big talk today is whether Google will buy the Web video phenom YouTube. On the heels of Mike Arrington’s rumor that Google might buy YouTube, the Journal has someone else saying talks are on. Lots of folks, like Om Malik (“The deal has as much chance of happening as me dropping 40 pounds”), Paul Kedrosky (“The blogosphere has predicted nine of the last three Google acquisitions, so skepticism is highly warranted”), and Carlo at TechDirt (“The evidence still seems a bit flimsy”), aren’t so sure, especially at the $1.6 billion price. Jason Calacanis and Charlene Li, on the other hand, make a case for it.

Given the breathtaking valuations and enthusiasm over everything Web 2.0 today, it wouldn’t surprise me if somebody paid that much for it. As I’ve said, I have to think YouTube can make something of all those video viewings, though whether that means it worth all that, I have no idea. Google? Clearly it’s possible, but it would be quite a departure. It has never paid nearly that much for any acquisition. Even worse, you have to wonder what investors would think about a tacit admission by Google that its thousands of brainiacs couldn’t outmaneuver a 40-person startup.

Between News Corp. gobbling up MySpace (apparently on the cheap, according to one of the founders’ new lawsuit) and Yahoo nibbling at the Facebook hook, it’s sure looking like Web 2.0 could end up getting eaten whole by Web 1.0 and Media 1.0.

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Reader Comments

Mike Reardon

October 8, 2006 03:12 PM

YouTube should be the next cable, it should have stand alone support from established networks and ad marketing. If it gets drawn into another company it sets up all that web 2.0 is going to be, an audition into another players line up of products served. And getting those billions for just one more web 2.0 product should become even harder.

Mike Reardon

October 8, 2006 04:41 PM

One more thing on YouTube as the next cable, it bypasses Cables control of local city markets, it also bypasses the older TV Stations control of local city markets. It can deliver network programming direct into all national markets without the extra costs servicing these local markets. VOIP is a totally transformational process for networks and marketing connections, anyone can see the total valuation of VOIP as a transformational process. But because YouTube is only a web application and brand identity that can be replicated, it is the test case for the market value on all web 2.0 services and also all other on-demand applications.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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