Friday, October 06, 2006

Say Hello to GooTube...

Sources are telling TechCrunch that Google is in talks with YouTube to purchase the mainstream phenomenon for $1.6 billion dollars. Two parts of this story really caught my attention.

First off, the rumours started floating on the popular blog, and soon enough were picked up by the Wall Street Journal, arguably one of the top news sources on the planet. The cool part? WSJ gave the nod to TechCrunch for the scoop. I think this is a big step in the relationship between traditional and social media. I've seen a lot of stories break in the tech blog tab of my RSS reader one day, and picked up a few days later by mainstreamers like G&M, Yahoo, Reuters, etc. Never do you see a reference to the good people at the blogsites. Now I know that an acquisition such as this is a little more prominent than that of the slimmest LCD screen ever made, but still - round of applause to the team at the WSJ for giving recognition when it is deserved.

The second interesting part of this story: YouTube is still so young yet so successful, and with so much more potential, that $1.6 billion seems like a steal. There's been plenty of talk about the value of the company and its potential selling price for weeks now, and today's figure is right in line with all estimates. However, if I'm the one signing over the company to the good people at Google, who've just opened their brand-spanking new city block offices in the trendy meat-packing district of NYC, I'm not giving it over for what's expected. When News Corp. bought MySpace last year, they paid less than $600 million. I've seen recent estimates that the value of the company could be as high as $15 billion by 2009. That's quite a jump in a four year span.

If Google does buy the company today, will the value spike much like MySpace? How much credit should the News Corp. purchase get for juicing the value of the social networking champion? What would YouTube's value be three years from now if they don't sell to Google? Why didn't I come up with one of these sites years ago?

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