Ripping on Gootube…. Again

Ok, so Google didnt get sued into Oblivian when they bought Youtube. They happened to be one of the very few companies that could afford to buy all the real estate in Oblivion and just move there.

Where are all the licensing deals from content owners excited about hosting their content ? Is it just me, or have we seen more content owners ask to have their content removed than sign new licenses to have their content added ? Where are all the licensees ? I mean out of the 10s of millions of copyright owners world wide, you would think we would have heard about more than the licenses signed when Google bought Youtube, right ? Where are they ?

But thats not what is interesting about what has happened to Gootube since the acquisition.

Whats interesting is that Gootube has gone corporate. Its primary application is to host commercials. Commercials for TV shows. Commercials for Products. Commercials for cheesy websites. Gootube may host a bunch of user generated content, but thats not what people look at.

Take a look at Decembers Top Viewed English Videos.
Most Viewed (This Month)

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Added: 1 week ago
From: NBC
Views: 6957535

12845 ratings

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Added: 2 weeks ago
From: CBS
Views: 3813597

2541 ratings

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Added: 2 weeks ago
From: Zipster08
Views: 1955951

5535 ratings

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Added: 3 weeks ago
From: dailyclick
Views: 1886783

1462 ratings

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From: Blendtec
Views: 1870954

5236 ratings

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Added: 3 weeks ago
From: MGMStudiosInc
Views: 1836866

6631 ratings

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Added: 1 week ago
From: CBS
Views: 1568995

1699 ratings

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Added: 3 weeks ago
From: CBS
Views: 1533243

5540 ratings

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Added: 3 weeks ago
From: tylermcgregor
Views: 1408363

3523 ratings

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Added: 1 week ago
From: VerizonWireless
Views: 1373397

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5731 ratings

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Added: 1 week ago
From: wylinoutbitch
Views: 1341496

3299 ratings

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Added: 2 weeks ago
From: CBS
Views: 1277719

3895 ratings

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From: augustson
Views: 1235236

1294 ratings

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Added: 2 weeks ago
From: wylinoutbitch
Views: 1173279

3451 ratings

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Added: 3 weeks ago
From: lilscrappy
Views: 1163908

2266 ratings

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From: wwwBLACK20com
Views: 1124946

4762 ratings

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From: wylinoutbitch
Views: 1088674

2355 rating

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Added: 2 weeks ago
From: T3Online
Views: 1055464

3171 ratings

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Added: 1 week ago
From: TzarElWrinkly
Views: 1013283

5247 ratings

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Added: 2 weeks ago
From: slamer123
Views: 992688

1254 ratings

Go through the list. Only the StarWars PSA, the Christmas Tree Jump and PowerTool Racing are really user generated content. 3 out of 20.

From there you have a contrived 12 days of christmas that is one of thousands of promos for Youtube users themselves trying to build a following. Is this social networking at its best ?

From there we have commercials or promos for movies, tv shows, blenders, knives, music videos and for a phone company. Then we have the most popular of Youtube videos these days. The fake Porn thumbnail with headlines of: Britney, Paris, whoever, nude, in the shower, wherever, doing whatever. 5 of the top 20 are fake porn.

This is the future of TV and entertainment ?

Thats what Youtube has become. Fake Porn and Commercials. Sure there is still some fun stuff on there and being uploaded, but how long before fake porn just takes over ? It was 9 of the top 20 for the week as I write this.

Now some of you might assume that Youtube can just police the fake porn and take it down before it c
lutters Youtube into….oblivion. Well they can’t. If they police videos they cant qualify for the safe harbor laws under the DMCA. (although some how real porn never manages to squeeze through, so we know they are looking at every video and shouldnt qualify anyway, but thats another discussion) and whatever content filtering they may be introducing is never going to catch mis sized dirty thumbnails at the front of fake porn.

So will all the creative people of the world want their User Generated Gems surrounded by fake porn and commercials ? Or maybe the bigger question is whether or not CBS and NBC and the other big media players will want their promos for their shows surrounded by fake porn or by Youtube Response videos which have to be the dumbest things I have ever seen. All that is missing from these response videos is a standardized preroll of “Im rubber and you’re glue…”

Could it be that Gootube will fade ? The victim of fake shots up Britney’s skirt and “My Response to…” videos ?

When will advertisers start wanting to know just how videos are viewed and by who ? Is a video viewed by the person who uploads it worth the same to advertisers as someone who came for the “entertainment” ? Is a video viewed by someone who “watches” 8000 videos a day really viewed or is that “view fraud”. Exactly how many people go to Youtube only to watch videos as entertainment and is that number growing or declining and how will that number trend in the future ?

While Im up on my high horse, let me add some historical context. Social networks are not new. Go back 20 years to CompuServe and UseNet groups and then chat rooms. They all cycled through the same way. They were fun and exciting when you found people with like interests. People found the forum, group or room usually via referral. People involved learned, were educated, were entertained, whatever the forum offered. Then if the forum grew, as in any group, some participants became more popular than others, and others tried, but failed to become popular. Still, they tried to dominate conversations, and when they couldn’t they tried different ways to game or sabotage the system. That pushed out the “purists” and original posters.

Then the spammers came. When the forum reaches the point where no one has a strong connection, the spammers and people trying to game the forum take over till the forum dies. Its what has become “The Ecology of Forums and Social Networks” . When a forum is open to everyone, eventually everyone shows up and the original attraction of the forum is lost. Someone has got to take responsibility for any open social network or the network will die.

Go to any forum that has survived a long time and you will find members or admins that police posts on there actively and ruthlessly. Myspace is a perfect example of a company that is figuring this out and trying hard to police what its participants do. Youtube, not so much…

74 thoughts on “Ripping on Gootube…. Again

  1. Greetings,
    Thank you for sharing this posted, its well informative and knowledgeable for your visitors or for everybody here. Continue sharing your taughts for the benefits of your visitors..keep up the good!! CHEERS

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    Comment by Mara Cruz -

  2. yuotube is hilarious! if i had 5 mins i spent it on youtube

    Comment by G Gazeteler -

  3. I completely agree with Mark B. I also no longer visit YouTube cause it is totally stuffed with plenty of fake videos and commercials that are not interesting at all.

    Comment by Jane -

  4. Mark

    I agree w/ the ‘The Ecology of Forums and Social Networks’ paradigm but there are online communities that practice a tight level of monitoring and seniority. I would refer you to genmay or fark. parhaps wikipedia (maybe more on the wikia project).

    Comment by George -

  5. When I first started checking out youtube last year I was able to find some cool stuff. Funny videos and even porn. Now it’s crap. Too damn many clips of commercials that I don’t like seeing on tv, let alone being bombarded with online.

    Now I rarely visit them anymore. There are a lot better video dump sites out there that offer better variety (ie; , , ; etc).

    Site like youtube get big and then turn to crap.

    Comment by Joe -

  6. you have 5 minutes, you have youtube.

    Comment by overlookedover -

  7. What’s crazy is that Youtube will feature a video on their front page with known copyright infringement. If they feature the video, they must know about the use of the copyrighted material which then shouldn’t protect them under DMCA. Do they just think they can do whatever they want??

    Comment by Thomas -

  8. I agree thats why these social networking sites will have to eventually start asking for drivers licenses to open up an account. YouTube is good for finding as Mark said old clips of our favorite shows and people acting stupid (say the less). Myspace a great place to business network but is an start for an beginner.

    Comment by Mike Wade -

  9. Sorry to correct you. Its BoobTube not YouTube or GooTube. It was fun for a bit but then wears you down like an Apprentice episode. Boobtube really is a reflection on the state of humanity. All style and no substance.

    Comment by Bloggermouth -

  10. No sei se estou postando no lugar correto, mas deixo a dica de conhecer a cidade de Extrema MG. No site tem fotos da cidade e dos ESPORTES RADICAIS ali praticados.

    Comment by EXTREMA ON LINE -

  11. I don’t know, some of this stuff on gootube is hilarious!


    Comment by Jason Barnett -

  12. Is creative UGC actually being thwarted or does it even exist? ” There seems to be a whole lot of “Man throws up on dog” out there and very little quality work. Sure, a few disgruntled art directors may leave their dens of iniquity to be true their dreams of creating the next Just Do It or painting pictures of sailboats. Perhaps they may create something clever every now and again, but is there honestly a cult of personalities out there ready to wow us? i hope so, but I fear that “Man throws up on dog” may be as good as it gets. Thanks for the rant, Mark.

    Comment by LakerFan -

  13. HI,

    I have been following the discussions on YouTube and the now over 200 copy cat plays on your blog and others. It seems to me that most people miss a very important market opportunity and the way to monetize these types of apps.

    The phenomenal success of consumer applications like, My space, Youtube, Facebook, Flickr have highlighted the fact that online communities, social networks and simple web based tools to manage digital assets are in great demand. They provide a powerful new form of human interaction impossible without the web. While most discussions are focused on the consumer market and most apps developed are all chasing the same revenue model – free content and advertising supported – the real value and potential to monetize these apps in my mind is in the business sector. Where there are real business models, real solutions and a reason to exist rather than just visual masturbation. If I can search , network, find, view content and connect with a community which directly impacts my business – it is a service i might pay for !

    There is no doubt that all businesses could also benefit from similar business grade applications which harnesses similar models as Youtube or myspace but are clearly focused on the business markets. I have spent 15 years in the entertainment industry and I have developed an app which combines an asset manager, collaboration tool and the ability to post media to a YouTube type community – for the entertainment and creative services industry.

    Our myspace/youtube play is only one part of the platform but it is an important part. It adds a live component to their business -where they can showcase their work , get visible, meet other liked minded professionals and get booked. Not a place to view Paris Hilton and Brittany playing – but a place to do business!

    To become a member users have to be a pre-qualified professional – this filters the content and provides a focused networked community for our users. While at the same time providing advertisers with a professional vertical market to target. We charge a monthly subscription and work directly with advertisers to create intelligent advertising content around our talent and business channels. There is no doubt in my mind that smaller focused networks where advertisers can clearly identify and communicate with potential customers are becoming very desirable to advertisers – as traditional advertising venues and viewers continue to fragment.

    It seems to me everybody is chasing the wide reach consumer TV model with an illusive advertising supported revenue model or Google like acquisition dream. They are missing a big opportunity – in the user generated networked business community TV model. A focused narrow play with lets say just 5000 business subscriptions will generate revenues far greater than 99% of these myspace and You Tube clones. They will also provide a real value to business users and advertisers alike – which they will gladly pay for.

    YouTube and others have helped us in the fact that they have primed our business model and massaged our potential market by exposing and allowing business users to get familiar with web applications of this type – first in the consumer space. In meetings since Google bought YouTube we no longer have to explain the power of social and user generated networks or web applications. We are in private beta at present and we are already seeing an incredible demand for a business type YouTube model in our space.

    Why are there so few business YouTube type models in this space ? I would be interested in your thoughts on this.

    Thanks for the continued, refreshing insight your blog continually delivers!


    Comment by andy rosen -

  14. Just because these are the top, most-viewed videos does not mean these are the only videos going to YouTube. Many users are using YouTube as their repository for personal videos and then emailing them around. Granted, these will never top the charts but they will make YouTube more targeted and personal and be “the user-generated channel” of TV that people are predicting. I don’t think you can look only at the hits, which will be the lowest common denominator, to discredit that claim

    Comment by Mike Lewis -

  15. What will future TV services do to offer subscriber-based content?

    I feel it’s important to bridge the gap when it comes to the user base of YouTube and the quality of commercial TV services. Without at least adding in this functionality to really cross the line from internet to TV, it’s only a matter of time before someone else does it. Agree?

    YouTube has been particularly useful for me in searching for obscure footage. Going past the copyright/IP portion of things, it goes a long way for a wider user base (appropriately stated, that’s a wider target audience/subscriber base). Something I feel TV no longer has these days. People are either ‘internet’ or ‘TV’ these days. You either get what you want or you just try to find it. Seldom are inbetween.

    Comment by aquarius -

  16. I don’t think we need to worry about youtube, Google has the money and the man-power to fix this.

    Comment by sedu -

  17. Hi Mark
    As lead tech developer for a camera company weve looked at this issue from a different perspective. Quality. We feel that people will be prepared to pay a modest subscription
    ($4.95pm) for a Hi-Quality (D1 720X480) stream that is encoded using the most computationally intensive 2 stage process on a specially created FLASH monster encoder. This produces superior quality bigger video that is AD FREE. In addition we will provide all buyers of the camera 10GB of webspace. Since the camera retails ( web only) at $328 and we have already taken it successfully through 3 product cycles we reckon that you get what you pay for but you do not have to pay a lot for great quality video that is ad free. thoughts on the value proposition?

    Comment by patrick martin -

  18. Hey Mark, recently I’ve been working on a project called which tracks the most popular viral videos across the major video sites. Over the past couple of weeks the top videos agree with your findings – the top 100 is dominated by girls dancing in front of web cams and/or fake “Britney Spears Naked” videos with an occasional NBC or CBS clip and sprinkle of home videos where some kid catches on fire.

    Take a look:

    Comment by Bri -

  19. More good in last year.

    Comment by Pola -

  20. I think the blame should not be placed on the users making the content, but Google. How can we really blame a Veriz*n or Lil’ Sc*ppy from posting their content on YouTube and promoting their product? With the constant inundation of adverts, company’s NEED to be creative in getting their word out there.

    What is clearly falling by the wayside is the willingness to create, PUBLISH, and uphold company standards. At some point, ethical business practices need to come into play. Like Mark said, for the same reason that chatrooms have failed, YouTube will fail. It will collapse due to a lack of foundation. The quality of video is being sacrificed for quantity. Socially, we are allowing this to happen and it will continue to get worse.

    Comment by Brian F -

  21. All I’ve ever posted is content that I’ve generated myself. I could really care less about all of the movie trailers or TV commercials, but I think there is room enough for everybody to use YouTube how they happen to see fit. YouTube really isn’t all that different than your remote control for basic cable service – 90% of the stuff on available televison is crap, so why should YouTube be any different?

    Comment by Jeff Liles -

  22. The Justin Timberlake SNL sketch was awesome. He totally redeemed any boy band nerdiness that was left in him.

    Comment by CB Radios -

  23. I think the corporate content is great. Maybe they’ll finally figure out that we don’t like 15 year old episodes of the Simpsons anymore.
    CB Radios Cordless Phones Compressors

    Comment by Laminate flooring -


    Comment by Aki -

  25. Ah, the spammers…thanks itdatahouse for your great insight!

    Comment by Mark B -

  26. The truth is atleast 60% of the entire net viewers are interested in viewing porn which needs a lot of editing by google as it does not allow explicit contents in any of its norms.However,they managed to do it completley in the above clips.

    Comment by vps hosting -

  27. I think the top 20 is fairly accurate. Most of TV is crap anyway and 20% of Media is well done. The masses don’t necessarily go to the best videos.

    If a user is hands off and wants the best of the pile they’ll probably turn to the player and gets feeds of their fav’s. A more interactive user will probably go with One thing gotuit lacks is 100% freedom with the video clips. If a gotuit user could take a database of commercials (what blogmaverick says Gootube will become) and mesh their video or video mesh with an inventory of ads. Then the user has an incentive to dig through the muck to assemble clips of good video for the masses and get paid by the advertisers to do so.

    As to the popularity of youtube, their pageviews are about to breach the 15 billion mark over the past year. Myspace’s page views are in the 25 billion zone according to

    Comment by urbenz -

  28. The big push for user based everything is pretty much a hoax. That’s why I think sites like is so far ahead of the curve, they’ve got no user generated crap, but a way to search and interact with user generated crap (their searching and scene maker tool), and tons of actual production house videos copywright in tact. I don’t know what they’ll do over the next year or so, but I think that we are hitting some walls with internet 2.0 mentality and gotuit and a few others are going to come way out ahead.

    Comment by Grendly -

  29. I find this blog very useful and challenging, thanks Mark.
    Very much impressed by the quality of the comments.
    Unlike solomonrex no13, I think youtube can be seen as a new king of network.
    In the new era of broadcast that we are experiencing, have you ever dreamed of a different kind of network that would not pay to broadcast content, but because it is so popular, user friendly and good at keeping track of the audience numbers the big content providers and traditional networks may actually use it to extend broadcasting power and somehow collect additional advertising revenue through a deal with its owners or other means. That network is Youtube.
    I find it unlikely that they end up in court, with video, we have a situation very different from music and napster. Here you do not run away with the content.
    Video is a very particular things as long as you dont give away entire movies, it has nothing to do with music, books, images etc

    Comment by Mamadou -

  30. I agree. Both YouTube and Myspace have been taken over by companies and scam artists. The companies that own the sites (Google and Murdoch) have no control over their sites. that is the risk you take when it is run by the users. In the early stages I really enjoyed the content, now I get bored. The only reason I use YouTube is I can store video content for free rather than have it on my hard drive.

    Comment by Jason -

  31. GOOG has enough cash to buy lots of businesses. The stock price is based on what people think the company will do in the future, and having more eyeballs and clicks is part of that plan.

    Comment by basketball drills -

  32. Does anybody know how much Google’s stock price and market cap went up upon purchasing Youtube? I don’t recall the numbers at the moment, but I recall thinking that it was significant enough to justify the purchase. Seems like discussing the pros & cons is a lot like talking about the virtues of Coke Classic versus New Coke. Anybody remember that “debacle”? well, astute marketers remember how much that publicity and word of mouth was worth. Obviously, someone of Mark’s stature continuously saying the word “Gootube” has a lot of currency.

    Comment by Robert -

  33. Hi Mark,
    Great post and insightful. I recently wrote a similar perspective on Second Life. It seems to be an underground place where porn is setting up shop. I dont have to tell you, but the dirty little secret of the web is the porn industry innovates and we all follow.
    Thanks Mark, Happy New Year.
    Paul Marobella

    Comment by Paul Marobella -

  34. Thought provoking discussion. Great blog.

    I think the reason Google paid so much for YouTube is because of the lock-in it has achieved via the network affect. Unlike television or radio, the Internet has almost no barriers to entry into the media marketplace. No site can lock-in eyeballs easily, undermining advertising revenue potential.

    Somehow, YouTube has become synonymous with user uploaded content and the viewing of same. The network effect causes users to choose YouTube solely because large numbers of others are using and it know its standards. To not use YouTube risks people not knowing how to see your content or how to find it.

    Google must have decided that YouTube’s critical mass was such that no new competitor could knock it out of place.

    To cure the “fake porn” problem they need to adjust the metrics that create their “top lists” so that offensive content is downgraded.

    But maybe some advertisers DO want to have their products associated with fake porn…

    Comment by David H Brett -

  35. Don’t forget that Youtube (and sites like it) will have some staying power because people are voyeurs and visual animals…we like to watch sports, watch people, etc. So it may not always be THE thing, but having videos and the like will always be popular.

    Comment by basketball drills -

  36. Ahhhh – no Borat then? Bit too fringe? Nevermind, perhaps it will catch on in 2007. Is it really nearly 2007?
    Cheers dears

    Comment by mcewen -

  37. Of course, if you check all time viewed, there is no “fakeporn” in the first two pages. You are using too narrow of data, mine is overly broad.

    Comment by Kyle B -

  38. I understand you focus on Youtube and Google since they are where the money is… or could be. But you might want to take a look over at a website called Channel 101 ( If I recall correctly, they have been around since the times before Youtube. The site is for independent movies only, although they do hold them to certain restrictions. One being that the movies cannot be longer than 5 minutes. This is where the guys from The Lonely Island… I mean Saturday Night Live, got their start with a series called “The ‘Bu”. You should check it out, and congrats on the win over Phoenix last night.

    Comment by matt -

  39. Mark, surely you’ve read The Long Tail by now…right? Less of more brotha.

    Comment by Jay Howard -

  40. as a previous poster commented… its all about the long tail. there is a lot of user generated junk on YT and many sites are capitalizing on this dynamic to sift through the BS fake porn and provide their audience “choice” videos. don’t think google doesnt recognize this dynamic…. they encourage bloggers to “enhance” their blogs with videos and you can bet your sweet ass a large percentage of those blogs have adsense monetizing their site. cha ching google!!!

    but never ever forget the power that bypassing the gatekeepers has. people want control, control, control…. did i mention control?

    Comment by Rat -

  41. I still think it’s funny that the Donald blog entry got more posts than just about anything you’ve had on here in awhile. That’s the power of the Donald…

    Comment by basketball -

  42. I work in a public library in a computer lab. You’d be surpsied at how many patrons sit around surfing myspace/gootube/google video/blackplanet/lostcherry/etc etc etc…

    You see what GooTube can be – the patrons in my lab want free porn, and they’ll watch commericals all day long chasing it.

    Comment by chris murray -

  43. Hi Mark,

    The content revolution is upon us. Time Magazine’s person of the year cover acknowledged that reality. The masses have grown tired of traditional professional boilerplate entertainment and viewing the same old same old content at set times and produced by the same cadre of Hollywood studio writers year after year. Adios!

    People want and love “real”. Contrived and professional is out. People have discovered a new love of hokey videos produced with hokey video equipment by hokey average joe “producers” of all flavors. Hokey works. Hokey makes people laugh and want to share the laugh. It always has, but it was always restrained by the monopolistic grip of the tube for decades by the Big 3 and then the Big 3 and the Cable titans, and never given a chance.

    The powerhouses created their own downfall actually. They ran a reality show and saw ratings go off the charts. Like typical Hollywood, the moguls all jumped on the reality bandwagon and got American hooked. In the process, the moguls overlooked the fact that reality can be produced by anyone with a decent video camera. UhOh, spaghetti-o’s time. They let the cat out of the hat. Couple Internet wiz kids say hey let’s make a site for people to all upload their homemade videos and voila, the worldwide broadcast and delivery vehicle was born and 1st gear quickly went to 5th gear and the rest is history.

    YouTube is now Americana, classic “Internet” Americana. Where the playing field is level and everyone can think they are or pretend to be a movie producer. The American “dream” is alive! Mabye “My” video will be the one that catches on like wildfire and millions of people will watch my creation. That’s the thrill. That’s the hook. And it works. Numbers don’t lie.

    YouTube is here to stay. At least for a while. But I think it will morph. I don’t think it will have a choice. Because the biggest threat to YouTube is the ad revenue sharing models being deployed by new competitive startups like

    YouTube is dependent on millions of users to generate it’s content base. As more and more YouTube producers get wind of the companies like Revver which shares 40% of the ad revenues with the creators and 20% with “sharers”, YouTube will have to join the pack to keep its vast production crew or it will become

    The coolest thing about the Net is that change can happen at the speed of light. Technology is on fire. Look at HiDef. 1080i is already showing 720p out the door. Most households barely got a chance to update their blurry 430 line TV’s, and now there is another better version of HiDef. And all those hundreds of DVD’s we all bought and thought wow it’s like being in a theater now look like crap once you see a Blue Ray DVD.

    Point being no matter how big your Net biz becomes, Mr. Change is always lurking under your business plan, and even the most powerful companies can get zapped in an instant. MySpace, YouTube, et al, will inevitably one day be “remember those sites where you could . . . , just like today’s “remember when their were only 3 channels on TV and the picture was black and white.”

    Change. It’s the only thing guaranteed in business and in life. The future like always goes to those who know how to master the “waves”. Catch ’em early, ride ’em long, and get the hell off of ’em before you get tanked when you see a new wave coming.

    Comment by Kevin -

  44. YouTube today is what Hotmail used to be in the mid-90s. Back then it was about text and images, now it’s about video. When video sharing becomes part of standard Web hosting services it will be the end of YouTube (and the likes).

    Sure, we all still have a Hotmail account (or two, or three) but who uses it/them apart from filling out online forms, contests and surveys (in fear of having our business/professional account spammed)?

    Once ISPs (i.e. 1&1) start offering user-friendly video hosting/sharing services, YouTube will be as valuable as… Google Groups.

    Comment by Maki Papadopoulos -

  45. support gush katif

    Comment by David Brotsky -

  46. Erik and Frankie are onto the answer. As Frankie says, YouTube is changing because of the Clutter that Mark is referring to. Here is the fix – rather than dynamically rank content by the number of clicks, they should do it from more of an editorial perspective – YouTube picks of the day.

    Where I see YouTube emerging in new form is sharing video content with friends and family. I shot 7 or 8 video clips of my 4 year old making Christmas cookies – pulled them all together in a less 5 minutes using i-movie, loaded it to YouTube, then e-mailed the link to my friends and family (100+ people).

    I did get more than 100 comments – so obviously I generated a lot of direct traffic for YouTube, both direct hits and hits from forwarded e-mail. I suspect that I also inspired some of my friends and family to do the same.

    Google wants to host all data for free! I think that is a great idea if they can afford it – and clearly they can afford it.

    Comment by Victor Lund -

  47. It seems as if any media, You Tube included, eventually reduces it’s intellectual value to the lowest common denominator of the target audience. This then attracts a lesser intellectually capable audience, which drags the information quality even lower. It’s a vicious cycle downward. Ultimately the media pulls society with it and there are fewer people in the high end of the bell curve as it becomes less of a even distribution and more of a shifted narrow hump close to zero. Only innovative new and daring attempts to rise above can keep this from happening. Most organizations, and people, are too risk averse to attempt such a thing – even though they could skim premium profits from an approach of this nature.

    Comment by Tetracon Rex -

  48. I thought YouTube succeded to this point because its community policing was so strong, perhaps the community can’t keep up with the growth and stuff is slipping through the cracks. It’s not as if the site has never been policed.

    Comment by Edward Cotton -

  49. Ok Mark,

    I actually fell asleep in the middle of reading that.

    What are you doing for New Years?

    You should blog about that!!!

    Comment by Toni Marano -

  50. Your analogy of the forums is right on the money.

    Some of these social sites will survive, but, they will certainly have to develop some more discipline to do so.

    Comment by CyberCoder -

  51. I’m impressed you take the time, and have the interest, to keep this blog updated as often as you do. With all the businesses you’ve got going on, all the travel with the team, it takes a lot of effort to do that.

    Comment by basketball drills -

  52. I think that actual policy ok You tube is ok, i love to see any kind of vides in the site. You could be interested in a great and helpful video that i find in youtube.

    Comment by Mariana -

  53. Mark,

    I’m not sure I agree with everything you say about the user generated content on YouTube. Take a look at a few of the things that I’ve been doing. Some of it may or may not be original, but I created it and I’m working to put more of my work out there on places such as Revver, Withoutabox and FireAnt. There are many of us who are trying to put content up that is art, political or social commentary and YouTube is just one of first. They were the biggest and I think that if U2 can release their latest video on the Tube, then there’s something there. They didn’t put it up on their website, or emptyTV’s site, they went to where the most exposure would occur. That speaks volumes and those volumes are going out to the masses.

    Comment by Matt Morgan -

  54. Interesting. I use Youtube often, but I search for specific things, porn and/or user domination isn’t one of them. The parallel to usenet and forum moderation is a good one. Perhaps youtube needs to break into forums, but then the porners would become spammers, yes? What is YOUR suggested solution, Mark?

    Comment by Rob -

  55. The long tail phenomenon tells us what is going on here.

    In the olden days, to watch video, you only had a few channels, and so HIT PRODUCTS were the critical factor. You could only offer a few thousand VHS videos in a store, and so to sell the most, you concentrated on hits.

    This is the mentality that values the most viewed. But in the Internet era, the most doesn’t count like it used to. Because unlike the olden days, the hundreds of thousands of videos NOT on the most viewed list are watched MUCH MORE than those on the list.

    The MOST VIEWED list represents media’s PAST. Yes, in order to get a million views you probably have to be connected to the old media, because that is still where people take a lot of their cues, and there is money chasing those eyeballs, either to produce the content or to promote it. The MOST LINKED list really represents the PRESENT. Those are the videos that are getting attention without big money chasing them. They will eventually win. The MOST DISCUSSED list represents the FUTURE. Those are the videos that somebody cared enough about to actually comment on.

    Lastly, the MOST VIEWED for THIS MONTH appears to be heavily biased in favor of old media-related content. Sure, the old media has just gotten the sledgehammer wakeup call during the last three months. But look what happens when you change the view to most viewed of all time. Or the most viewed this week. Whuh-oh!

    Comment by Undertoad -

  56. It’s worth weeding through the commercials and fake porn to get to see “Dick In A Box” by The Dudes from The Lonely Island… now of Saturday Night Live. That was the funniest thing I have seen on the internet since House Of Cosbys.

    Comment by matt -

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    Comment by itdatahouse -

  58. Hey Mark.I prefer your sarcasm and humor but I guess I should get intellectual once in a while. Its just natural evolution. Something is raw, gets better, gets corrupt and dies off. Like people,ie: Mike Tyson and alike in various sports,countrys and civilizations.If you dont police and discipline something it just happens, If you re paying attention, it has happened to the finest of people and institutions. Thanks for the thoughts.

    Comment by Frankie from Lawnside -

  59. It will always have a presense, since it was at the cutting edge of delivering what it does. But of course, the popularity and traffic will wane unless it somehow remains relevant.

    Comment by wailea -

  60. Youtube will fade just like every other “fad” if you want to call it that. It will always have turnover (new people joining and using as older users stop using), and will always have name recognition, but it won’t always be THE thing.

    Comment by basketball -

  61. interesting stuff. i’ve been using youtube since they first launched and i’ve seen an enormous spike in spam email into my yt account in the past few weeks. has anyone else seen the same thing?

    Comment by David Lee -

  62. Wait a minute…guys develop a technology that catches like wildfire. Major internet prescence decides they should have a stake in it, and decide to overpay by hundres of millions of dollars. Founders make out like bandits, and technology seems to be wasted.

    Sounds familiar?


    Mark, its not a matter of what YouTube is becoming, the potential for what it could be has already passed. These guys have cashed in, and that’s pretty much why they win no matter what.

    Aquisitions like that will be the reason the tech stocks are going to nuke themselves again.


    Comment by dan -

  63. I think you’re right on about the forum thing, but YouTube is not, I don’t think, a “destination” for many people like a Digg or Reddit is. YouTube is, primarily, a video hosting service and it’s value is in adding cheap video to blogs.

    Comment by Brian Boyko -

  64. Cuban, Youtube is not a network. It’s a hosted video site, and most people use it when something else links to it. It’s too difficult to browse and most people don’t.

    I think it’s just an extension of Google’s blogs.

    I think maybe you don’t get it.

    Comment by solomonrex -

  65. I think Chad’s comment above is interesting (#5) … I wonder what the numbers really are. Lately, I have only used YouTube to watch videos that bloggers have posted … it seems to have become just a free hosting service for sites that I trust … I no longer use it to discover content.

    Also I have been using Google search less and less for the same reasons … rather I have been using Wikipedia as much as possible. People are starting to figure out how to game Google search to bring bad content above the fold.

    I think that this is part of a larger trend that will cut into Google overall.


    Comment by Erik Herz -

  66. Mr. Cuban keeps ranting against YouTube while it continues to be the standard for dissemination and sharing of video. Who goes to the top videos list anyway?

    The newest vids that people want to watch go onto YouTube first because it’s easy and it works. And most people who visit are looking for something specific at first, and then may watch similar videos through tags.

    Yes it is true that most of the content people go to YouTube for is illegally shared. The copyright owners react by putting up their own videos with no large library, in a clumsy, sluggish interface. Pretty sad.

    Comment by Ben -

  67. Yup. YouTube: D.O.(virtually)A. R.I.P.

    Comment by Steve Morsa -

  68. I think the power of YouTube et al is that it does give you a platform for your work and some people will find it and enjoy it. As a film maker I don’t worry about what’s number 1. That way lies madness.

    With these new distribution strategies though I would never be able to make my next film ( which will be free on the net and will be funded through adverts. Its a good old fashioned drama – no fake porn!!! Maybe it will be a flop because of it. But only one way to find out!!!

    Comment by Tim Clague -

  69. perfect example of a forum that has survived MANY years

    Comment by jeisson -

  70. The Youtube surge will die down just like Myspace is slowly dying down. I can’t tell you of how many people I know who barely do anything with Myspace anymore, myself included. But back to Youtube…

    As studios start churning out their own videos on their site, many of much better quality (the Fantastic 4 trailer by Apple is an excellent example), the idea of flocking to Youtube for “the latest” trailer, etc, will be nullified. It’s a fad, it’s the latest thing, but it won’t last unless it’s transformed into something better.

    Comment by Lamarr Wilson -

  71. Along with what Mike said, YouTube is much more about the tail than the hits. These top 20 videos represent ~36 million views in December. Assuming they are still at the 100m/day mark, that means the top 20 represent 1.4% of the 2.6 billion video plays in December.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with some of your conclusions, but will YouTube ever degrade to the point that some of my favorite newsgroups from 5 years ago are at today? I just don’t see it.

    Comment by Chad P -

  72. You say “Go to any forum that has survived a long time and you will find members or admins that police posts on there actively and ruthlessly.” But has YouTube really been around long enough to qualify? And since Google only purchased it recently it would seem that it would need more time to get it to the point you’re referring to. As always, I enjoy your blog.

    Comment by Stephen Rahn -

  73. I think we will see YouTube fade as others step in to get back to the concept that YouTube originally had. I know I no longer visit YouTube b/c I feel like it is a site full of commercials and fake vids.

    Comment by Mark B -

  74. How can Google police their Youtube videos? All videos have the ‘Flag as Inappropriate’ link, so it’s up to the members and visitors to help. Of course, there’s always going to be a debate on whether or not some of the blatant garbage can be taken down, since some argue it’s “art” or they’re using their free speech.

    Comment by AJL -

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