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YouTube Up for Sale?

Published October 6, 2006 in Internet
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of YouTube.
YouTube YouTube
It is no secret that YouTube was a major catalyst to the online video sites. As the market was becoming flooded with multiple sites that offered new videos of the day, YouTube was the only one willing to take the risk and allow their very own users waste bandwidth by uploading multiple, uncompressed copies of various video that is either home made, production quality, or ripped from film and television; funny commercials are always a hit.

Though many of the smaller sites now have difficulties defending themselves against YouTube and its software, the popular site has definitely earned its position. Losing more than most would be comfortable with up until March of this year, YouTube was risking millions. Fortunately, the risk is about to pay off.

Google Looking to Buy YouTube

According to Reuters, Google Inc is in talks to buy popular Web video site YouTube Inc. for close to $1.6 billion.

YouTube has quickly ascended to the rank of top Internet video site since it was founded in February 2005 by letting users share homemade video clips.

The site has been a subject of buyout speculation for months since its Chief Executive Chad Hurley was the toast of Allen & Co.'s media mogul retreat in July. Hurley has said in interviews with Reuters and elsewhere that the company was not up for sale.

The site reports serving about 100 million videos daily and has attracted scrutiny from major media companies for pirated versions of copyrighted entertainment appearing on its pages.

Up until recently, the site did not trouble its viewers with any advertisements. With its debt in bandwidth alone becoming a major crunch, YouTube users began to see ads from Google Adsense and, later, flash banners.

YouTube commands a 47 percent share of the online video search market as of September 30, compared with 22 percent for News Corp.'s MySpace video site and 11 percent for Google Video, according to Internet measurement firm HitWise Inc.

YouTube site serves about 32 million unique visitors monthly and has about $11.5 million in venture capital financing from Sequoia Capital.

Expect a confirmation on the acquisition by the beginning of next week.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of YouTube.

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