44 thoughts on “Attack of the You Tube Clones”

  1. YouTube is definitely going down the tube, IMO… They just lost two potential aqcuirers (Yahoo and AOL) … I guess the big guys like NewsCorp and Viacom are still left, but I worry that legal issues will keep them from moving in.

    With YouTube running thin on the funding vs. operating cost ratio, I don’t see them lasting much longer than 12 months if they can’t come up with viable solution to bring in revenue or go through an M&A.

  2. After reading about this clone from AOL (the umpteenth one in the past few weeks), some animal analogies come to mind (please forgive me):

    Microsoft lumbering Elephant
    Apple heel-snapping Hyena
    Google fat Lion with yellowing teeth
    Yahoo Gorilla in need of evolution

    AOL Monkey

  3. Man, YouTube is just dumb business… They took too much VC money so they need to sell for a really high price, the technology is too easy to copy, they have no business model yet, and they grew by expoiting copyrighted material. All they did was give something great for free and got money to keep growing.

    The only thing they can do is roll out this great new business model they say they are working on and hope they can become profitable in time.

  4. YouTube and Flickr? Flickr was innovative, YouTube isn’t. Flickr pioneered a bunch of new things, and is still much better than YouTube. Yahoo can easily clone YouTube, but they couldn’t clone Flickr because the thinking behind it was much better. So they wanted to get the people. What does the YouTube team have? Scaling expertise? Expertise in throwing money around? Flickr had that 2.0 mojo. YouTube has a business model that’s pretty much doomed. Nothing to acquire there. Plus Flickr didn’t have millions of VC dollars hanging around their neck.

  5. Yes Peter got it right, Flickr was a people/tech buy. Yahoo basically bought Web 2.0, at least some of the main people that started the trends. Youtube would just be a plain eyeball buy. The big guys already know how to scale.

  6. Youtube has got a distinct advantage though – the user base. Online users dont surf 10 different video sites for a particular video…youtube has got this user externality where many more videos are uploaded on youtube than any other (i mean yahoo video search has existed for a while too). In my opinion yahoo or AOL made the blunder by not buying youtube and its legion of users, though they still have the option to do it in the future if their video sites do not take off.

  7. From a buyer’s perspective, what’s cheaper? Paying for YouTube’s fickle traffic base and easily replicated technology, or developing it in house and marketing it via your own extensive properties?

    I would think that the math would point to a buyer from the trad. media world looking to expand a weak online presence; can’t see any of the online giants bagging it unless it goes for dirt cheap.

  8. YouTube will prevail.

    Interest in YouTube doesn’t have to come from one of the existing portals, it can come from anywhere. Disney. General Electric. Viacom. You name it – these are all players who would love the kind of global traffic that YouTube generates.
    My guess is, though, that News Corp. will ultimately be the one to acquire – as they seem to be more visionary than the others.
    But with Jobs on the Board of Disney now, who knows?

  9. I’m still wondering why YouTube hasn’t started moving beyond the ad-revenue model. They have the eyeballs – they just need to create a market for unique content. They’re in an excellent position to be the iTunes Store of commercial and homebrew video. Instead YouTube is sitting around twiddling its thumbs while it waits for the big buyout. Learn from Friendster – if they’re not innovating and sourcing a sustainable revenue model, they’re dust. There’s no way just selling ads to cover video bandwidth costs is going to work in the long run.

    Right now ITMS and Google Video have a head start on commercial film and TV offerings for sale. If YouTube can get a good payment system set up, they could create a market for subscription or pay-per-view user-uploaded video content. Once everyone’s selling their wares on YouTube, Big Media will have to follow suit and offer their content on YouTube as well to maximize profit opportunities.

  10. No barriers to entry, no unique IP, no switching costs for consumers.

    Someone will pay a premium for the eyeballs and a discount for the content, but not a Yahoo!, Google, AOL or anyone else with native traffic. Unique visitor gains would be miniscule and hard to predict.

  11. To patrick, easy as it may seem to see no barriers to entry or switching costs from perspective of technology, user experience dictates users would line up at the gates of those websites where they are more likely to find a particular video or have the single largest selection in case its just idle browsing. That is another reason skype has beaten google talk. Switching costs in this case are network externalities not typing in a url.

  12. do any of you people actually look at these sites?
    “They have the eyeballs – they just need to create a market for unique content. They’re in an excellent position to be the iTunes Store of commercial and homebrew video”.
    Click on ‘sports’ and the top ten groups are:
    Mixed and female wrestling
    gay wrestling
    raufromantik – mixed wrestling
    The new mixed and female wrestling group
    Female Bodybuilder Admirers
    World Bikini Wrestling
    The Muscle Gallery
    Real Wrestling
    “They’re in an excellent position to be the iTunes Store of commercial and homebrew video”.
    Yeah right – I can see legions of sports fans/participants flocking to see this…
    Is anyone actually auditing the traffic figures?

  13. and look at the 3295 clips relating to Arsenal Football Club recorded from TV…Napster lawsuits anyone? Sorry, I’ll stop now…

  14. Hmm.. think people may have read into my comments misleadingly. I wasn’t advocating for YouTube’s full conversion to paid content only. The idea is to offer paid content alongside free content. Users would be free to continue uploading whatever hokey wrestling videos they want. At the same time provide a venue and tools for content producers to sell their videos for fees. There’s a lot of indie film and TV-like content out there. YouTube could be the aggregator and middle-man for all that. The free uploaded videos keep the people coming but the paid content becomes the revenue driver.

    Take a look at Google Video – free and paid content in parallel. Google’s problem is they haven’t figured out a good way of selling the paid content. In their half-assed, slap-a-Google-logo-on-there-and-it’s-cool approach, they’ve made it look like nothing more than a video search engine. Rich media requires presentation and a portal. Imagine TiVO as a search engine – it’d be a failure. However, replicate the TV channel-surfing behavior on paid video content and you’ve got a goldmine.

  15. YouTube’s site is a red herring. Its true that they’re currently the video sharing destination site of choice, but the real story here is video syndication. YouTube is a video publishing platform. A good one at that. Specifically, the ease by which you can post your video on any web site/blog is the breakthrough. One platform, limitless destinations. Thats the promise of the open web and the real race in question here.

  16. Yahoo and AOL could are still potential acquirer. It happened more than once that the big guys tried to launch a competitor but never reached success > then bought a successful start up to catch up with traction / features / user base…

  17. I dont think theyre planning to be acquired, I think they`re just waiting for the right moment to start adding ad trailers to the videos.

    Then as long as their ad price per view is higher than the bandwidth cost to serve the video, they`ll be fine.

  18. YouTube has peaked: competition, clamping down on copyrighted material, and too much mediocre content poorly catalogued will slow growth over the next 6 months. Watch YouTube traffic over the next 4 months, it will slow considerably.

  19. YouTube STILL leads by hands down when it comes to video downloads…now, can they figure out a way to make any money?????
    Eyes are Advertising…Eyes are everything when it comes to the Internet…the Ayes Have it!!!!
    Put me down for News Corp

  20. I simply do not believe that a site without copyrighted content can compete…and You Tube will not be able to compete. As soon as they start running pre-roll commercials, they will lose a lot of their audience.

    The clones of You Tube that allow uploading of copyrighted material without licensing will not survive either. Unless You Tube can move to licensed content, they will be history soon…

  21. Side note: In regards to AOL’s new video offering as a potential competitor. They require you to download a publishing tool called VideoEgg, an EXE file, which you must have to upload videos to the site. YouTube requires no such tool. I think spyware/adware concerns may give users pause before they download the publishing tool. It may simply be a tool to offload the video preparation processing to the user’s system; but in any case, it stopped me from going further.

  22. i think Yaron has it quite right. what flickr did for photoblogging, youtube is doing for video-blogging. from engadget, down to my piss-ant site, we all use youtube. and all for different things.

    as for the napster-esque lawsuits, i am sure that the MPAA will come a-knockin but i’m not sure they can afford the PR nightmare that they will get from doing that.

    there are far more webcam clips of people singing pop songs and dancing awesomely/weirdly/hilariously to them than there are of movies. especially now that all content is limited to ten minutes or less unless they are indie.

    having said that, how come no one has suggested that vivid video should buy youtube?

    adult cinema is after all, one of the biggest uses of the interwebs 🙂

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  24. well i think when it comes to multimedia websites you tube is at the top of the list
    dunno …
    what d’you think?

  25. you tube can offer all the latest Korean dramas..for free!! For those who enjoy watching foreign or asian cinema/drama it’s all good!

  26. I’d pay $10 a month to be able to browse YouTube.

    If, of course, everybody stayed on there (thus having to pay that too)

    I think a hell of a lot of people would pay something a month.

    Preroll ads would do my f**king head in, but they ain’t going to cause a mass exodus to Google. Unfortunately.

  27. you tube is the 18th most popular website on the planet. You think that it doesn’t have value? Its worth several hundred million just based on its traffic reach alone…damn you people are dumb.

  28. So what’s the big deal with pre-roll Ads? If it will keep the site functioning as is and we all are conditioned to ignore most internet advertising anyway then why not LET EM ROLL? It’s a whole lot better than paying anything a month or per download.

  29. from what i have read on this topic…
    i dont see what all the fuss is about

    so..reroll ads…big deal, i agree, we just ignore them…they aint pops which is great

    also, dont you have to pay for the
    directors account? on youtube, to post clips
    longer than 10mins! if so, then theres money
    being made there, and it would seem, in theroy easy to monitar the director accounts then the free accounts

    videop egg and youtube are the only two that work on bebo…so techically they woudl be advertisting youtube…so maybe they have a deal with them…for now..? meh

    youtube is by far the best to get your
    backyard wrestling out to people, your short
    movies..from home and or from school/college.

    look at youtubes famous user…Brookers, she landed a deal with mtv’s carson daly (i dont know how his names spelled)…it shows that
    the stars view youtube,that film/tv/movie producers and the such like use youtube to
    look for future talent.

    thats what i think,thanks for reading.

  30. I think youtube needs a competitor that will allow uploads longer than 10 minutes.
    Bye-bye virus ridden downloading, hello user traffic for the competitor.
    Personally, im not that impressed by youtube

  31. The Yulip.com YouTube videos website clone is hilariuos. Just a few movies, video clips etc… anyone can make one nowadays! YouTube almost encourages it!

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