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YouTube Founders Interviewed

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the popular-videos-not-on-tv dept.

122

An anonymous reader writes: "FORTUNE's Adam Lashinsky interviews co-founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley. 'In just five months, YouTube has gone from beta testing to part of the national zeitgeist. The website is a place where anyone with a home video can post it online and create an endlessly entertaining diversion for bored office workers -- who've been watching 40 million clips a day.'"

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122 comments

slashdot is constantly broken (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15315335)

am i the only one that gets consistant broken HTML? It happens like 5 times a day.

FIRST uhhhhhh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15315336)

anonymous? POST!

quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog

phew! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15315338)

so ads *are* coming!!

The only reason there are zero posts... (3, Funny)

js92647 (917218) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315340)

... is because the site is still working.

Re:The only reason there are zero posts... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15315420)

...And the reson you were able to get frist post is because you have already spent your whole day on the site?

Fluff (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315344)

What I'd like to have seen asked is how they plan to deal with copyright infringement on the site with the vast amounts of content which they host. Both technical and legal answers would be interesting, I think.

Re:Fluff (3, Informative)

flooey (695860) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315368)

What I'd like to have seen asked is how they plan to deal with copyright infringement on the site with the vast amounts of content which they host. Both technical and legal answers would be interesting, I think.

From what I most recently heard, they use a basic system where a copyright owner can object to a particular movie, and it's manually taken down by someone on their team. When a movie is taken down, their system also fingerprints the movie and automatically rejects any further submissions of movies with the same fingerprint.

Re:Fluff (3, Informative)

apflwr3 (974301) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315421)

From what I most recently heard, they use a basic system where a copyright owner can object to a particular movie, and it's manually taken down by someone on their team. When a movie is taken down, their system also fingerprints the movie and automatically rejects any further submissions of movies with the same fingerprint.

If this is the case I can't imagine this system will last-- it's certainly not the copyright holder's responsibility to cruise YouTube to make sure no one is appropriating their works, and sooner or later an irate infringee will not be happy with a simple "sorry, we'll take it down" and sue for damages (I would imagine an example could be a scene from a movie still in production.)

Re:Fluff (4, Insightful)

rayde (738949) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315435)

how would youtube honestly have any fundamental difference to any other host.. say geocities, which is just as capable (albiet not as user friendly) of hosting videos? just because they offer a convenient means of playing the videos back doesn't necessarily mean they should be treated differently than any other host. they wash their hands of it and let the content providers take up issues on a case-by-case basis.

Re:Fluff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15316371)

I would say the difference is that they categorize things so someone looks at whats uploaded.

Re:Fluff (4, Informative)

flooey (695860) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315782)

If this is the case I can't imagine this system will last-- it's certainly not the copyright holder's responsibility to cruise YouTube to make sure no one is appropriating their works, and sooner or later an irate infringee will not be happy with a simple "sorry, we'll take it down" and sue for damages (I would imagine an example could be a scene from a movie still in production.)

Actually, according to 17 USC 512 (c) [cornell.edu], it is in fact the copyright holder's responsibility. Copyright law has a special section regarding systems that allow users to upload content and spells out exactly how the system operators need to deal with it.

Re:Fluff (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315847)

That's correct. The copyright holder has to find it.

How would you honestly expect anyone (whether it is a site like youtube or a magazine printing copyrighted photos in ad copy) to know whether submitters held permission to use what they were submitting. It's kind of a pain for small companies that hold a lot of copyrights (like advertising photographers) but when they do find it, the court royalty damages if they dont agree to pay before court are quite good (and they levy the damages on the person who submitted the work, not that means of publication).

Re:Fluff (1)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315674)

Here's an actual example [youtube.com]. This video originally showed a fight from the latest event in the Pride Fighting Championship in Japan, now it just says; This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner Pride FC - Dream Stage Entertainment, Inc because its content was used without permission

Youtube have been removing a lot of Mixed Martial Arts videos at the request of Pride and UFC..

Does it change once they start making money? (5, Interesting)

ragingmime (636249) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315387)

INAL, but could copyright issues be more problematic once they start making money off these videos? I mean, I know no label really wants to sell old Prince videos, but somehow they're huge on YouTube. Do you really think content producers (record labels, movie studios, musicians, maybe even regular users) would be okay with that, or would they want a piece of the action? I mean, they own the copyright, and I don't think that posting entire music videos online could be considered fair use.

That's the reason Google News doesn't have ads, after all - if they did, they'd run into legal issues (or so I've heard).

P.S. This is a pretty short article with only a bit of information - and it's vague info at that. What gives?

Re:Does it change once they start making money? (1)

gkhan1 (886823) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315874)

Actually I'm pretty sure that the fair use status of Google News blurbs wouldn't be impacted in any way by posting ads. If something is non-profit a judge might take that into consideration and it might help a little, but it's not like Google is a non-profit corporation. Wikipedia is non-profit, and copyright (especially fair use-issues) is one of the major concerns. Also, Google do the EXACT same thing to normal webpages (copyrights-wise anyhow) and they make plenty of money from AdWords. How would Google News be any different?

People say it all the time on slashdot, but I don't think it's true.....

Re:Does it change once they start making money? (2, Funny)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315989)

This is a pretty short article with only a bit of information - and it's vague info at that. What gives?

You must be new around here. You'll learn.

Re:Does it change once they start making money? (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316192)

I mean, I know no label really wants to sell old Prince videos, but somehow they're huge on YouTube.

A little offtopic, but bootlegged Prince stuff is very popular, and I have a neat conspiracy-conspiracy theory to follow.

There is tons of "bootlegged" Prince stuff out there, and Prince freaks buy it just like they pay $300-$400 for tickets to see him every time he plays a live gig because they always sell out. The most infamous bootlegged album is "The Black Album" that came out in the late 80s. I knew a guy who owned a used record store that pretty much payed his rent with bootlegged Prince stuff, or at least that is what he said. As weird as Prince is, I believe that he purposely allows bootlegged versions of his stuff to float around to add mystique to himself between the fans and himself.

My conspiracy-conspiracy theory is this. I believe that there will always be conspiracy theorists, and the government and people like Prince realize this, and they actually help leak material to the underground to keep people guessing.

I'm a wannabe conspiracy theorist, but one thing that gets me is how is there always so much conflicting and what kills me is the quality of _low quality_ "evidence" out there. Stuff like the infamous "bin Laden" FBI tape that is of such low quality, I don't know how anybody in the past 10 or 15 years could make such a low quality video unless they did it on purpose. And the simple volume of conflicting information is simply baffling. For a long time I believed there was at least more of a conspiracy theory behind the JFK assassination. Guess what changed my mind? I downloaded the Zabruder(sp?) film off of google videos and watched it for myself. The infamous Oliver Stone "back and to the left" thing went out the window. That guy was taken out by a hit that went out of his throat and that killer head shot from up and behind him. Its clear when you watch it (and scary). But 30+ years of conspiracy would have just disappeared if the government had released the tape a long time ago, but noooo, lets keep the people guessing, and keep those Prince concerts sold out :)

A valid question and the answer (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316094)

I think they only care as far as needed. Do a search for Morning Musume (a jpop girl group) on youtube or video.google and you will find a shitload of vids most of them copyrighted.

So they definitly ain't removing the stuff on their own. Granted the japanese do call Music Videos Promotional Videos instead and who would object to the freehosting of ads but still.

I think this stuff is too new for the copyright owners to have woken up yet. Just wait for it.

Re:A valid question and the answer (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 7 years ago | (#15317017)

Exactly.... The sharks don't come after you in the water until you start bleeding.

Where is the Interview??/ (3, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315388)

That was more like a side conversation while three gusy where waiting for coffee in the morning.. I want to see details (servers, bandwidth, cost, space) what they use to manage it.. (i know it is home built but what is it like?)

that is a lame interview and told us nothing more than we all already new (except that they work for paypal)

not trolling here just pointing out

Re:Where is the Interview??/ (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315547)

yeah i was a bit confused that an interview for Fortune was allowed to have only 3 questions with vague answers..

Re:Where is the Interview??/ (5, Interesting)

bedessen (411686) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315697)

The Forbes article from a few weeks ago [forbes.com] states that thier bandwidth usage is approximately 200TB per day, the cost of which "may be approaching $1 million a month".

Re:Where is the Interview??/ (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316020)

The Forbes article from a few weeks ago states that thier bandwidth usage is approximately 200TB per day, the cost of which "may be approaching $1 million a month".

200 TB / day
8.33 TB / hour
8529.92 GB / hour
142.165 GB / minute
2.369 GB / sec
18.952 Gbit / sec
19406.848 Mbit/Sec

Less than dual 10gigE

Since when does a 10gigE or OC-192 cost $500,000/month?

Some people have 12 mbit cable models for $40/month. This works out to about 1617 cable modems or about $64,689.49.

Bandwidth is probably cheaper in bulk.

Re:Where is the Interview??/ (3, Insightful)

bedessen (411686) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316091)

You cannot possibly be suggesting that you can compare some shitty cablemodem to the kind of thing you get at a datacenter. Residential broadband is almost always highly asynchronous (the upload is only a fraction of the download rate), it has tons of restrictions (usage caps, cop-out clauses, etc), and it is typically oversold by ratios of 100:1 or more. This means you aren't actually paying for the true cost of the bandwidth, you are paying a fraction of it because most people don't come anywhere clost to using the full amount.

"Real" bandwidth has none of this BS. You get a SLA. You get an engineer on the phone when it breaks. You get a dedicated and provisioned port on a router. You can run it flat out at full duty cycle (100% utilization) continuously without any kind of "you've used too much" bullshit that residential ISPs like to pull. The speeds are synchronous and are contractually guaranteed, none of that "up to X mbps but sometimes much less because you have crappy wiring" stuff. Your equipment is stored in a location that has redundant power supplies, diesel generators, raised floors, heavy duty cooling, and sophisticated fire alarm/control systems.

"Real" bandwidth costs real money. The stuff you get with a cablemodem is not real bandwidth, and it appropriately costs only a fraction. When you realize the difference between the two you will realize that from a cost standpoint comparing what you get from your residential cable company to what a large site like youtube has to use, they are in totally and completely different leagues.

Re:Where is the Interview??/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15316645)

Right. However I've heard from discussion with an Free-Software-supporting ADSL ISP founder / operator (Jason Clifford, UK Free Software Network [ukfsn.org], they rock, he practically runs it as a charity) that backbone bandwidth in of itself isn't really expensive. The expensive part is when you have it absolutely guaranteed by SLAs and running on top-grade, distributed, DDoS resistant hosting. If they're prepared to compromise a bit on both of those that would bring their costs down a lot.

Re:Where is the Interview??/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15317090)

Because no one would ever attack a large, new, up and commming Media Outlet...

Re:Where is the Interview??/ (1)

ashpool7 (18172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15317075)

Our two T1s cost $1,200. 10Mb of OC-3 will cost us about $3,200. Make sense now? That cable modem analogy is crap. 12Mb down if you're lucky and you'll never get 12Mb outbound.

What is the cost? (5, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315392)

I wonder how those guys pay for the bandwidth. How are they handling this? When I visited their site, I saw no advertising - none!

My request though, is to have full video controls on thier player. The same applies to Google Video by the way. Many a times, the videos simply need some light.

But many thanks to thier effort.

Re:What is the cost? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15315416)

They're funded by venture capital just like a 1990s dot com.

Re:What is the cost? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15316084)

Sooo

1. Create stupid home video clips
2. Create site for people to share said video clips for free
3. ???
4. Profit!

wtf?

Re:What is the cost? (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315429)

Light? They need bitrate. For stupid clips (that I love by the way) it is great, but for anything worth watching Google Video and YouTube and all the other offerings fall far short when it comes to quality.

Re:What is the cost? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315589)

Youtube tends to be much worse than Google Video for quality, though (at least in my experience). I agree wholeheartedly - the videos on both youtube and GV tend to look about ten times worse than 16Kbit MP3 sounds. Of course that's due to the nature of audio versus video, and the fact that low bitrate audio is just empty-sounding, not all blocky and artifacted. I suppose something to the effect of a subscribers pass, say $10/month, could work - allowing paid members to view unlimited higher-quality content. With typical broadband speeds, it's more important that we have lower quality video that's got a fast loading time, although that's more at their end (my 4Mbit at least would allow me to stream pretty-near DVD quality video, especially when it's compressed using any of the million more effecient codecs, and even a pretty crappy DSL connection will usually allow for something considerably better than the junk we've got now).

Free and quality just don't work together, especially in capitialist societies. Personally, I'll tend to stick with free, and I'd wager that's true of most people. Until they manage to implement some sort of quasi-bittorrent for a distribution method, you can't expect to have the quality increase. Especially considering that internet advertising is becoming less and less effective, thanks to both smarter/pickier users and things like Adblock.

1mil$ per month on bw. 11mil$ in venture funding (1)

hedley (8715) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315572)


So says Leo Laporte's TWiT this past weekend.

I have 11mil$... I spend 1mil$ per month on bandwidth... how long
can I stay in business for assuming no additional funding...

Hedley

Re:What is the cost? (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316025)

I wonder how those guys pay for the bandwidth. How are they handling this? When I visited their site, I saw no advertising - none!
They have Google Ads now, but let's think about this anyway:

In a blog entry from January 9th they said they were serving over 45TB of videos per day [youtube.com]. If traffic is, say, $0.10 buck per GB, that's less than $2M per year. Plus the cost of its employees and the fact that they're probably serving even more video now and I'd say a reasonable estimate of their costs would be maybe $5-6M per year. They've already raised $11.5M in venture capital, so even if they have no revenue, they should be able to keep it running for almost 2 years.

In the long term, they could pay for it several ways. At the very least, they could do something lame like put a 5 second video ad in front of every video. Another post on their blog quotes the number of 25 Million videos per day. [youtube.com] I don't really have much idea what space like this would be worth to an advertiser, but if it were only worth $0.001 per impression, that turns 25M videos per day into $25,000 per day or well over $9M per year, which would easily cover their costs and provide a good profit.

Hopefully they'll figure out a better advertising strategy though.

Re:What is the cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15316796)

I read something about 1 second adverts recently. I try to avoid youtube, but if it used 1 second video adverts like that idea and it didn't to rebuffer for the actual clip , I wouldn't mind.

Re:What is the cost? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316697)

No kidding. Its funny....I always kinda thought of YouTube as "the TiVo of the internet" in terms of its business. Fantastic innovative product that shakes up the world....and then bigger competitors with deeper pockets who already have gobs of marketshare in complementary markets come in and crush them because they don't have a good enough business model.

If I was a YouTube founder I'd sell and bail. But thats just me, and mostly because I have bills I need to pay and little money to pay them with right now.

Thank you!!! (1)

UbelievablyLame (962303) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315395)

Thanks for not bombarding the user with ads!! I know that's always an instant turn off for me.

Re:Thank you!!! (2, Informative)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316221)

Yeah, because that's a sustainable business model! No income! Burn a million a month in traffic costs!

Honestly, how long do you expect no ads to carry on for? Three months time there'll be ads in front of videos, or memberships required to upload or get video of greater than a pathetic bitrate.

I'm surprised YouTube works (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15315426)

I think a better model would be for dedicated BitTorrent-like software allowing downloading of video files instead of streaming using Flash or some other ridiculously stupid and intrusive Flash-like technology.

A site which abjures all DRM and which basically said instead "here, download this .mpg and use this software to easily convert it to DVD format so you can watch it in your DVD player" I would think could be even more popular.

Re:I'm surprised YouTube works (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15315520)

yes because most people want to spend the time to burn dvd's of strange japanese tv shows or koreans playing starcraft.

the site is popular BECAUSE it uses flash which allows for easy watching of short clips that would not be worth the time to download and play with a local decoding solution.

Re:I'm surprised YouTube works (1)

tklive (755607) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316179)

really ?

more popular to most of the web users than say....a site that says click here to play ?

Re:I'm surprised YouTube works (1)

sowdog81 (739008) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316317)

I'm not a huge fan of flash, but it does have it's uses. It does work for quite a few platforms and it abstracts the viewer from having to download appropriate codecs that an uploader might have used. It's alot simpler than telling a less computer savy person to download and install the necessary codecs. Also the benefits you mentioned about downloading this mpeg and burning could be turned into a hunt for proper codecs and approriate software to convert, a benefit that only us techies might appreciate.

Re:I'm surprised YouTube works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15316682)

I think a better model would be for dedicated BitTorrent-like software allowing downloading of video files instead of streaming using Flash or some other ridiculously stupid and intrusive Flash-like technology.

You mean, like BitTorrent?

YouTube: Running a company like it's 1999. (4, Insightful)

natrius (642724) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315485)

One simple question: How does YouTube plan to make any money? Right now they're making $0 and spending tons on bandwidth. The main reason people visit the site in the first place is for content that's infringing on someone's copyright: TV shows, commercials and similar fare. There are a few user-created videos that actually draw traffic, but still, that traffic is pure loss. The only thing of value they have is the brand name. Everyone at my college talks about wasting time on YouTube, but their technology itself is worth next to nothing because it's so easy to build. That's my YouTube has so [google.com] many [vimeo.com] competitors. [revver.com] If they don't get bought by anyone, they're screwed.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's a good time to be living off of VC money. It's fairly clear that many of them are being advised by underpants gnomes.

Re:YouTube: Running a company like it's 1999. (2, Insightful)

natrius (642724) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315562)

Now that I've actually read the article, I should probably reply to my own post. Advertising is not going to cut it, especially if they're the first ones to do it. Users will flock to the other services, and Google has a lot more money to waste on hilarious karaoke videos [google.com] than YouTube's VCs do. One by one, these video hosting services will start putting up ads, and their users will flock to Google Video. Lots of people embed YouTube videos on their websites, but if they have a choice between a video with ads and one without, which are they going to choose to subject their readers to?

Their plan is to build as large of a user base as possible by luring them in with ad-free videos, then throw ads in their face to make money off of them. It isn't going to work unless they can outspend Google. Unlikely.

Re:YouTube: Running a company like it's 1999. (1)

antic (29198) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315709)

Picture videos tagged. Then picture tags united into "channels" and people subscribing to channels. Instead of visiting a page and watching a video and then choosing another one, it's more of a one-after-the-other push system. e.g., quite organic IPTV.

That's one route, surely?

Re:YouTube: Running a company like it's 1999. (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316233)

I'm fairly sure I don't want to pay to trust users to tag stuff, and have a continuous video stream pushed to me of crappy home video after crappy home video.

That being said, your idea is at least more creative and innovative than 'stick a 10 second ad in front of each video'.

Re:YouTube: Running a company like it's 1999. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15315564)

Dude, they're making money on volume! Come on, it's simple!

Re:YouTube: Running a company like it's 1999. (1)

apraetor (248989) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315659)

They could charge corporate users for posting videos with added on-page content.

Aeron Chairs! Get your Aeron Chairs! Foosball! Get (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315799)

There's nothing wrong with 1999! Technology was more exciting, BMWs were still good looking, Money was still prevalent.

Note to self...

Step 1: Set up office across the street from YouTube headquarters.
Step 2: Offer a variety of Nerf toys, Foosball tables, Aeron Chairs, and assorted snacks.
Step 3: Profit! (Just don't accept any YouTube stock!)

Google Video Search? (3, Insightful)

eBayDoug (764290) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315490)

If google rapidly integrated video search, would that screw youtube's plans?

Re:Google Video Search? (1)

WeAzElMaN (667859) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315537)

Google Video isn't the end-all, be-all of online video content. YouTube clearly has the upper hand when it comes to quality.

Also take into account that, while Google Video is still in beta, GV is not as feature-rich as YouTube. In all honestly, Google Video seems like a rushed product - rushed to market to claim at least some market share from YouTube. And it shows.

Anyway, I really think that YouTube has the upper hand - it shouldn't worry about Google Video (not for the moment, at least).

-WeAz

How do you search video? (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315599)

How do you search video? Upload a similar clip and see if the server can find similar clips? Upload a video of yourself describing the video you desire?

Re:How do you search video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15316704)

Filenames, tag text that describes the video.

YouTube and Linux Support (4, Interesting)

Chemkook (915402) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315498)

I like YouTube because you can upload files and view them with Linux.

I hope Google video supports Linux soon!

Re:YouTube and Linux Support (2, Informative)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315701)

Google video works under Linux now. As far as I know, it always has.

Google in fact has better support (2, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316110)

Both use flash (wich opera has a problem with at the moment at least under linux, something to do with how flash requests the video) but google also allows you to download the file in several formats.

So you can play it in a decent player with some filters to make it look good. The difference in quality (at least on linux) is staggering.

Youtube has the tagging wich makes it easier to find stuff.

Re:Google in fact has better support (1)

traveller.ct (958378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316165)

Unfortunately both requires the use of non-Free software by streaming through Flash. Last I checked, there is still no 64-bit implementation of Flash.

Does google require flash? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316243)

I don't think so. The page loads in links and gives you the option to download. So google for the win!

Yes the in browser player is flash and is indeed evil and mean and nasty and kills puppies for fun.

But you can also just download it in several other formats. As I pointed out already. If you can't play any of the available movie formats. Well then that sucks. Serves you right for having a fancy CPU.

Flash on 64bit (1)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316512)

Your only hope for a better Flash plugin on 64bit is the Gnash project. It doesn't have sufficient support to cope with YouTube yet though, at least at the 0.7.1 release point. So I hear about this stuff on YouTube but I have no idea what I'm missing because there is nothing to see (for me).

Still, beats wasting time actually watching the movies :-)

Cheers,
Toby Haynes

Re:Flash on 64bit (1)

traveller.ct (958378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316824)

I've gone without Flash for quite some time now and I find the experience lifting. Gone are the days of (usually) colourful flashy things giving me eyesore! Most of the time they're either annoying or meaningless.

I suppose I'd rather not have a Flash plugin at all. Too bad for those Flash sites...

Re:Google in fact has better support (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316208)

google also allows you to download the file in several formats.

This is the killer feature for me. Youtube just doesn't have the bandwidth to be able to stream videos. I can't remember the last time I was able to watch a video on youtube without it pausing to catch up every few seconds. Google has a similar problem (albeit to a lesser extent). However, Google lets you download the video and watch it offline. That to me makes Google Video usable, and Youtube unusable. How it's managed to get the bulk of the market share for online videos is utterly beyond me.

Re:Google in fact has better support (1)

Curien (267780) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316330)

FUD. I have no problem with Flash in general or YouTube in particular in Opera on Linux.

Re:YouTube and Linux Support (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15316116)

w0rk 4 me 2 0n m3 pc wid da ubuntu

but n0 lu\/ 0n da g4 p0werb00k wid d4 ubuntu, but video downloader extension 4 firefo>https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2390/

err

Just a matter of time (4, Insightful)

Jonboy X (319895) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315521)

I'm sure I'm not the first to think this, but this YouTube thing kinda reminds me of the early days of Napster. They get VC, they spend it allowing people to share copyrighted media, they try to conjure a revenue stream out of a free service, they hope to turn "legit" before the federales shut 'em down, they go halfway and alienate all their users, et cetera. I don't know why these doofuses think this will turn out any differently.

Could it really be that the VC's know this, and have decided that getting the name "YouTube" branded into young people's minds and associated with internet video is worth all the blown money?

Re:Just a matter of time (1)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315856)

Quite possibly, the second iteration of this site (the one with the actual business plan) will get traffic and notice because of this iteration. Think Napster vs Napster 2.0.

So really, what the venture capitalists are thinking of is spending all this money marketing a name that will eventually do something entirely different from what the site currently does.

(Partial) Substitute for Broadcast Entertainment.. (3, Insightful)

rewinn (647614) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315528)

While it would be naiive to suggest sites like youtube would fully replace entertainment developed for the masses, noticable audience share may be drawn away as Youtube & its ilk not only radically drop the transaction costs of (short) video entertainment but, more importantly, provide search and rating capability .

For example, which is more likely to provide a solid hour of laughs: watching an hour of Saturday Night Live and hope for two or three funny scetches, or searching YouTube for a dozen bits of comedy that have been highly rated?

Heres my question (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15315532)

Dude, where the porn at yo?

Better codecs in the future? (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315583)

Is there any chance YouTube will upgrade to some better codecs and/or higher bitrate streams?

Re:Better codecs in the future? (2)

flooey (695860) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315764)

Is there any chance YouTube will upgrade to some better codecs and/or higher bitrate streams?

Considering the rate at which they're burning money on bandwidth, I'd imagine higher bitrate streams are unlikely.

Just a fad. (4, Insightful)

ImaNihilist (889325) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315585)

YouTube is just a fad. As soon as the venture capital dries up they won't be able to afford the bandwidth without massive advertising. As soon as they add that, visitors will start dropping like flies. YouTube is no different than AtomFilms or iFilm. Same shit, different day. AtomFilms used to be the big video content host. Then the adds started poppin' and the hits started droppin'.

How about a video of their server farm? (3, Interesting)

green pizza (159161) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315594)

YouTube doesn't currently the one video I would love to see -- a tour of their server farm, network, dev offices, etc. I would love to have a behind the scenes look.

Re:How about a video of their server farm? (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316044)

They have a few videos of their offices, like this one with MC Hammer [youtube.com] but none of them are technical. I'd love to see them talking about the technology end of stuff, but I think it's unlikely due to number of other videos sites they're competing with (growing more numerous by the day now that YouTube has gotten big).

Think Big Picture People (3, Interesting)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315837)

I think that YouTube is going to be a major player in the near term. The tv companies have completely shot themselves in the foot and someone is going to dethrone them as the king of captive eyeballs.

Fact #1)The TV industry has changed from real productions to idiots with camera's (aka reality tv). By doing that alone, they've dropped the cost of creating a show to little more than a camera, a stupid idea and idiots.
Fact #2) Digital Cameras have gotten extremely cheap
Fact #3) There are millions of untapped idiots with their own camera's worldwide

By shoving reality tv down everyones throat, they've basically commoditized the creation of television content. YouTube is poised to make a killing, if just by putting basic ads on idiots doing stupid shit on camera, the same thing the tv companies do except over ip.

Already old media is feeling the force of podcasts, converting their existing shows to allow users to listen to what they want when they want it (and usually commercial free). It's only a matter of time before YouTube (or someone else) does the same to video. Keeping the clips short seems to be a good idea since most people don't have much of an attention span these days (if you've read this far, you're probably ahead of the curve).

Re:Think Big Picture People (1)

Zaphod2016 (971897) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315879)

Great point regarding "reality TV" as a precursor for "video blogs". I never thought of that, but it makes perfect sense.

However, the big question remains, how does YouTube intend to make money from all of this? Ads? Selling content (a la Google Video)?

As others have mentioned, the technology is easy, the hard part is a profitable logistics model that works.

Re:Think Big Picture People (1)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315972)

Great point regarding "reality TV" as a precursor for "video blogs". I never thought of that, but it makes perfect sense.

Thanks :)

However, the big question remains, how does YouTube intend to make money from all of this? Ads? Selling content (a la Google Video)?

That's probably going to take something creative. I have no clue other than ads. All that matters is how the ads are done, it could be done very tactfully.

For example, people tag the hell out of these videos. All they need to do is write a channel engine that will allow people to "tune in". Say I am a fan of Skater vids, it would be trivial for them to write an engine to stream video after video of skater videos. Now how much is a skater channel worth to a company that makes skateboards or skater clothes?

Perhaps they'll just get sponsors that in turn get to run their own tag based channels, commercial free or otherwise? Who knows. . .

As others have mentioned, the technology is easy, the hard part is a profitable logistics model that works.

Who knows what YouTube will do to monetize the technology

Re:Think Big Picture People (1)

Zaphod2016 (971897) | more than 7 years ago | (#15315998)

a channel engine that will allow people to "tune in"

http://cartoons.joshthejenius.com/ [joshthejenius.com] (PHP/GPL2)

You can tell YouTube is already on a quest to remove these copyrighted goodies, but some of my fav's are still up. To their credit, this is easily one of the *laziest* API's I've ever worked with. Nice and easy (the way I like it).

http://www.youtube.com/dev [youtube.com]

So, absolutley, the tech is here and ready! Let's go free market! Let's get this show on the road!

Re:Think Big Picture People (1)

Slightly Askew (638918) | more than 7 years ago | (#15317008)

I disagree. Reality TV is already rapidly dwindling, with only a few (Survivor, American Idol, etc.) remaining popular (did anyone actually watch Unanimous?) Quality actors like Hugh Laurie (House) and John C. McGinley (Scrubs) are creating a rennaisance in network television, reminiscent of the pre-reality tv era, when you could pay big bucks for talent and still turn a tidy profit (The Cosby Show, Friends, Seinfeld, etc.) The Reality TV fad is dead. Basing an entire revenue stream on it would be financial suicide.

YouTube I find is limited (3, Insightful)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316086)

I go to YouTube once or Twice a week, I'd go more often if I could download individual clips from the site rather than play it in my browser. I want to keep them on a longer term basis rather than keep downloading something over and over again if and when friends come round wanting to watch something.

Re:YouTube I find is limited (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316160)

Type {download youtube} into Google, and something COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED [javimoya.com] shows up.

On the other hand, as others have noted, most YouTube videos are pretty low bit-rate and not that great for keeping around. Often with a little more work, you can find a higher bitrate version of the same video elsewhere on the net.

Bandwidth costs - 1m/month (3, Interesting)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316251)

Redundant concern I know - but consider this lil' nugget.

This Week In Tech (TWIT) broadcast for this week (ep 53) mentioned a bandwidth cost of more than 1 million a month. That's peanuts to a network (or network affiliate), but considering their cash flow is investment derrived, they're going to have to do something - and FAST - or become the pets.com of the web 2.0 era.

I'm rooting for them because some of the material is fantastic, and I'm noting more sites using it for hosting videos for other sites and blogs - which I think is it's best case for being. I know my sites couldn't handle a slashdotting - and neither could my pocketbook - but youTube makes for a great video podcasting solution.

Brand identity is worth the initial drain. (2, Interesting)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316722)

Look at the original Napster. Before it was shut down it had built up a community, people were rating each others' files, they were selling stickers and t-shirts at Hot Topic, they were pissing off Metallica, and people were saying "Napster" in TV shows and movies. You can't go out and buy that sort of brand identity, you just urge the masses to build it up in their own minds. All that is the sole reason the current Napster is doing anything remotely close to the business it does today.

These guys, although apparently not evil (sure, they used to work for Paypal, but on the other hand, they used to work for Paypal) have already built up the user base and mind share to basically ensure that Youtube makes money whatever they end up doing to go "legit."

I think the most ingenius move of theirs so far is the embeddable player. How cool is it to be able to stick that little flash gadget right in your website/blog/myspace/whatever? And, once they do start running ads and things, each one of those embedded files will become a tiny branch of their revenue stream.

Re:Brand identity is worth the initial drain. (1)

Jonboy X (319895) | more than 7 years ago | (#15317019)

Ingenious! I hadn't even thought of the fact that all those stupid little embedded videos in people's stupid little MySpace pages could have a stupid little ad at the beginning, without the page owners themselves even noticing for a while. YouTube is betting that most bloggers are too lazy to get rid of the YouTube clips that they've already linked in, and I think it's a good bet.

Heck, maybe after content is torn down from YouTube's servers because of blatant copyright violations, links to non-existent videos will simply turn into video ads. Brilliant!

adding up the cost of banwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15316832)

I took 40 million and assumed 1mb per download, for a short compressed flash video its possible.

I divided by 24 the 60 and then 60 again to get by the second. Then I timesed by eight to get megabits per second and I got

3703 megabits per second

if we assume 100 dollars per megabit per second thats around 400,000 dollars a month or around 5 million dollars a year. Thats rather a conserative figure but then they need servers and electricity and stuff but suggests its not a ruinous amount for one of the most popular sites on the internet.

I remember when people said.. (1)

FunctionalMethod (751923) | more than 7 years ago | (#15316961)

..google is just a fad. I mean it has only these tiny little text ads. They will never make any money with this. It will just end when the venture capital runs out. History repeating? Probably. I visit youtube.com everyday , and not to watch copywrited material but check out all the cool E3 vids that are out now. Or watch AskANinja . Or some other clip. Or a music video clip. Or something. It really is amazing . I would think that simply having a video on the top page will get you 1.000.000 people watching it , and that is worth ALLOT.
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