In a previous post, I expressed my concern that this may be the golden age of YouTube, and that those days could be numbered.
John Battelle gives fans of YouTube hope by pointing out that YouTube is basically a company nobody with deep pockets could ever buy. All of that copyrighted material on YouTube is something of a poison pill, however unintentional.
So who might buy YouTube? A major entertainment company, like the ones mentioned in the Post piece? No way. That’s buying a lawsuit or ten – if Time Warner bought YouTube, how long do you t hink it’d be before competitors sued to get their copyrighted stuff off TW’s new service? . . . What about a new media giant buying YouTube – Yahoo, say, or Google? Or Microsoft? Nope, nope, nope. Yahoo is a media company, and acts like one. Google doesn’t have it in its DNA to run a service like YouTube (though Google, with its Switzerland like approach to content, is the best fit, in my opinion). And Microsoft? They don’t need any more legal headaches over in Redmond right now.
YouTube is a great idea without a business model, which is okay if the only people it needs to support are its owners and a few employees (if that many people), along with enough servers and bandwidth to power the thing (which isn’t all that expensive). At this point, they could probably throw up a PayPal donation button to cover all that.
I’m guessing, however, that YouTube does have some initial investors who would like to see a return, plus the current owners (if they’re normal human beings) don’t want to pass up a unique opportunity to become filthy rich.