Monday, October 09, 2006

Google to buy YouTube? Is 'Me too' dead?

Google's much-rumoured plans to buy YouTube raises some questions about the value of brands, established routes to market, marketing (full stop) and me-too-ism.
Why has YouTube been so much more successful than google's own video offering? Technically there is little to choose between them. And you'd have to say that google would have an advantage in route-to-market terms.
As far as I understand it (and please do correct me if I'm wrong) google video arrived on the scene approx six months after google video. Six months. All google's advantages wiped out in just six months?
Perhaps it is that google is now seen as 'establishment' - YouTube was/is the dude.
Perhaps it is this, and the way YouTube functions much more intuitively as a social network than google video, that has given it this victory.
Maybe me-tooism no longer has sustainable currency. Innovation - being first with something which truly engages and which can be rapidly and swiftly marketed by those who try it and love it, perhaps these are the advantages YouTube created?
The asking price is in the region of £850 million - and google are only one in a queue of potential purchasors.
You'd have to expect that yahoo are one of them - even though they are trying a bit of me-too-ism themselves: Click here
We've seen this before, with flickr being bought by yahoo, MySpace by Murdoch. You've got to wonder - did these guys ever have a long term plan to make money - or did they just hope someone would come along with a big bag of cash?
Even if they did, these businesses only have value if you have something else you can offer these audiences - earning revenues from them.
The challenge is doing this in a way that doesn't have them abandoning ship and going looking for the next dude. Ask Ruper Murdoch.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?