Tuesday Morning GooTubing…
from the let-the-post-deal-debates-bloom dept
Well, we said last week that, whether or not it was actually happening, there was little point in digging into a Google buyout of YouTube until it actually happened. And, of course, now that it has happened, the discussions are coming fast and furious. Mark Cuban set himself up nicely to get all of the post-deal attention, but there are plenty of other opinions being spread around, from “good deal” to “bad deal” and everywhere in between. There’s some questioning as to whether or not this is an eBay buying Skype type of deal — but that seems a bit too extreme. There was almost no rational explanation for the eBay/Skype tie up (and every one they’ve trotted out since has pretty much been shown not to be true).
In this case, though, there are some differences. Google already had a competing product that was doing well, but appeared to be a distant second in the hype game. Bringing in YouTube and combining the two (which will be done eventually, no matter how much they talk up the separation) does wipe out the competitor. Secondly, it keeps YouTube out of a competitor’s hands. This is probably a much bigger reason. It seems like some execs at Google really, really do regret not buying MySpace three months before News Corp. at half the price. At the time that tidbit hit the news, it seemed like an affirmation of Google’s philosophy to buy technology and build community, rather than the other way around. But, then, just a few months later, Google ended up agreeing to a $900 million ad deal with MySpace. Yes, that’s a $900 million ad deal just a year after they apparently could have bought the entire company for approximately $250 million. Think that doesn’t cause some execs somewhere to take notice?
Of course, what remains to be seen is whether or not that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Andy Kessler has an interesting writeup where he basically suggests this move follows a bunch of warning signs from Google, that suggest Google is finally coming to terms with the idea that they need to do something different — that they’ve become a media company. Of course, as with just about everything Google, when they decide to do something, they like to do it on their own terms. So, “media company” may mean something entirely different to Google, and perhaps they really do see YouTube as a core part of that. Either way, it’s a much bigger acquisition than Google is used to making (though, mainly in terms of money — YouTube still is a relatively small company), so it will be interesting to see how successful they are in merging it into whatever “bigger” strategy the company has. And, of course, the big question is always going to be if they can squeeze more than $1.6 billion out of it.