Can YouTube fetch $1 billion?
How much could popular online video website YouTube sell for? A cool billion dollars, says the New York Post. In your dreams, says Business 2.0 columnist John Battelle-- the big media companies are too afraid of the copyright lawsuits plaguing YouTube, and Google in particular doesn't understand how to run a community-driven website like YouTube. Techdirt says YouTube's following in the hype-driven footsteps of Skype, which managed to score a massive payday by floating a billion-dollar price tag for the company -- and then tripling it to $3 billion when nobody bit. That managed to land Skype a $2.6 billion payday from eBay, so the strategy seems to have worked.

Then again, Skype didn't have YouTube's problems -- which include restive users and a brouhaha over the rights that YouTube claims on every video that's uploaded to its service. What's worse--according to Valleywag, which cites a YouTube insider--YouTube's in-house ad salespeople didn't bring in a single dollar of revenue last month. Is that what you get for a billion dollars these days?

Tell us what you think the future holds for YouTube -- leave a comment below.
Posted by Owen Thomas 9:57 PM 17 Comments comment | Add a Comment

The rights YouTube claims ion the video are perfectly reasonable for that service.
The fact that there sales didn't bring in any money just reeks of incompetence from their sales staff.
Posted By Anonymous : 11:20 AM  

ignorance is bliss
Posted By john, cleveland oh : 12:06 PM  

WOW billion? i would assume max triple digit millions if at most. Anyhows watch it get bought over and than transformed into a advertising haven and it will potentially lose consumers which then will flee to another video source. Its a great site but when big businesses take over it changes the whole outlook. Enjoy it while you can.
Posted By Tara Sparta, NJ : 12:24 PM  

"Some people worry that new media companies may over time shunt old ones aside as producers of content. Certainly, digital media will create new stars and new businesses, but making high-quality video content will always be a daunting and expensive task. Music or a blog can be composed from a bedroom, but not an episode of �Friends�."
YouTube has a worthless buisness model. Once Old Media Adapts (see on demand television initiatives of Disney, Viacom) nobody will care about youtube. You can't leverage "free user created content" because it is free.
Posted By Josh, Providence, RI : 12:34 PM  

its worth-it, youtube is a great idea that had caught on well

it is here to stay
Posted By Sundown, Collingswood, NJ : 12:57 PM  

I think Yahoo learned their lesson with Flickr and won't buy YouTube. Their bandwith bill alone is over 1 million $$ every month

Where is the business plan, how is YouTube supposed to make money?
Posted By Denis, Princeton, NJ : 1:12 PM  

YouTube will get its price eventually. I never saw a hostile ad popup when visiting. Maybe they are already in the black....
Posted By John Wayne, Wild Wild West Texas : 1:39 PM  

I hope it does get a billion. I like to see U of Illinois graduates take off.
Posted By Has, Champaign, IL : 1:42 PM  

'toutube and napster sitting in a tree...'

yt can be easily replicated. we will see many such versions. r.i.p. yt...all your investment money going down the drain. paper your bathroom wall with your you tube stock certificates just like napster investors did.
Posted By Frank, Beverly Hills, CA : 2:11 PM  

Will it ever be possible to go a day without reading an article on YouTube?!? There were plenty of user-generate web sites in Web1.0 that all died a horrible death.

Just goes to show how self-obsessed the media is with itself.

Please let the insanity end!
Posted By Coder, Boston, MA : 2:50 PM  

Will they get 1 billion? No. They'll end up getting MUCH more than that. They are heading in the direction of social networking and every major media conglomerate needs to compete with News Corp, owner of MySpace. Expect sites like Facebook, Zoints, and Tagworld to fetch substantial pricetags in the future too.
Posted By Jack, Phoenix Arizona : 10:56 PM  

I definitely think YouTube could fetch a cool billion despite not having any revenue. An acquisition would most likely be a strategic play to prop up another website that does make money (e.g. eBay), rather than solely relying on the YouTube community to provide cashflow. The acquirer could easily use pre-roll video ads to make sure they are being seen.
Posted By Harry Chong, Toronto, Ontario : 1:27 AM  

YouTube will fetch an astronomical price tag, maybe not in the billions, but it will be huge. Consumer generated media and online communities have taken the web by storm and the sooner companies can utilize these communities and turn them into a resource the sooner profit potential will be realized.
Posted By Lance, Boise ID : 11:33 AM  

The new 'internet boom' is a bust. Though some good applications and concepts are out, they are way over-valued. Wise up!
Posted By Eugene, Camden, NY : 1:10 PM  

Youtube, Dailymotion and other video webservices face to face with major liability problems

I am a lawyer specialized in these topics, and recent French case law developments make me think that YouTube is definitely not going the right way.

They don't respect third parties copyright, and they don't respect the copyright of their users.

Even Napster was willing to negotiate. And they never pretented to get any rights...

Just have a look at my article, I added much details about the French cases, etc.

Youtube, Dailymotion and other video webservices face to face with major liability problems
Posted By Jean-Baptiste Soufron, Paris, France : 3:49 PM  

A billion dollars? And these guys aren't bringing in any revenue money either? Please, it should never happen.
Posted By Kino, Atlanta, GA : 10:30 PM  

Heh... IP is the coin of the new realm. If Youtube crashes & burns they can irrevocably transfer IP ownership of the millions of videos submitted to them to a 3rd party. Kind of like the way MySpace can usurp music against the wishes of the musicians.

As for google not understanding community driven sites? WTF about Perhaps they mess up with their content moderation causing less than instant service... but they're playing it safe. I wouldn't if I were them, it makes them more liable for any messups with copyrighted material.

I doubt it's worth 1b, if I were them I'd give it that price tag and hope for half of it, transfer as much IP to my cronies as possible and complete the sale.

Brands come & go fast & easy on the net... no 2.0 brand is worth that $
If the buyers have got a new business model to try out on youtube's audience then why bother buying youtube 1st? I wouldn't. No way.
Posted By Andrew, Christchurch, New Zealand : 9:32 AM  

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