June 27, 2006

Tech > Hey, YouTube. The '90s Called. They Want Their Business Plan Back

Video of a sheep being fleeced - is this a metaphor for YouTube investors?

I've been posting some digicam videos to the site thanks to the magic of YouTube. I love YouTube. You upload videos from your hard drive to their Web site. Then you email a link to your friends, or copy a block of HTML code and paste it into your Web page. You can even control whether the video is public or private.

Now I can post videos with wild abandon, knowing they won't count against my disk space or bandwidth quotas. YouTube also solves the potential nightmare of posting a video and getting linked by Slashdot, Digg, Fark, or some other hugely popular site and suddenly owing a fortune in excess bandwidth charges. It happened to a guy I worked with at U.S. Internet who posted a demo for The Hot New Video Game. The deluge of downloads resulted in several thousand dollars in excess bandwidth charges.

So free video hosting is what's in it for me. What's in it for YouTube? They seem to be on the Underpants Gnome business model.

1. Give away disk space and bandwidth for free video hosting.
2. ???????
3. Profit!

So I don't understand how YouTube will make money, but I'm sure enjoying it while it lasts.

See also:
- Friday Bird Blogging - Pileated Woodpeckers
- Katie Day 627 - Dancing to the Backyardigans

P.S.I was scouring my hard drive for videos to upload to YouTube. When I found the video of a sheep being fleeced this post pretty much wrote itself.

LATER: Countertop emails a link to a Wall Street Journal article on YouTube. It's behind the subscription wall, so I can't read it, but maybe you can.

LATER STILL: And this Washington Post article, which is free to read, on YouTube deals with NBC and Warner Bros.

Posted by lesjones | TrackBack

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