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March 12, 2008

YouTube's Big Deal

The big YouTube announcement that everyone anticipated for today was not that Google finally figured out how to make money from the site, or that copyright holders stopped suing the site (not as if that's going to happen soon).  Instead, the site announced new APIs that would make it easier for sites to add uploading capability directly to YouTube.  In essence, with the right programming, any site that wants to host video and allow its users to interact with videos of their own can use YouTube as the backbone host directly from their site.  Everyone gets to be their own YouTube with the YouTube video collection as the source.

Spreading around the access may seem dilute YouTube as a destination, but more may be going on here.  Critics have complained that Google hasn't figured out how to make money from YouTube.  The user community tends to go nuts when the idea comes up about providing ads along with video.  Historically it's been a very touchy issue for the YouTube site, but not necessarily for third party sites using the same content.  While it's all free to the sites who want to use it, might there somehow be ad revenue lurking in the background?  And if so, how does that stack up with the licensing agreements YouTube and Google struck with various media companies.  Google's motto is "don't be evil," and that is obviously not inconsistent with "let's find creative ways to make money."  Nothing wrong with either of those.

YouTube's announcement is here.

March 12, 2008 | Permalink

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