Seven years and a few months ago, Yahoo! plunked down billions of dollars for one of the hottest Internet companies around, Broadcast.com whose specialty was to stream radio and other audio via the web.
Today, Google plunked down billions to purchase YouTube, now one of the darlings of the second Internet age whose specialty is to serve user created (and some commercial) videos.The problem with both purchases is a pesky thing called revenue. Broadcast.com didn’t have any in 1999 when Yahoo! bought it and YouTube doesn’t have any today. Hopefullly Google learns from Yahoo!’s stumbles and their gamble pays off. Hopefully they can monetize YouTube so we can keep on wasting our time on the site. If not, then we can expect a repeat of 2000 when all the air of the dotcom boom left the valley when everyone realized the emperor had no clothes.
Either way, I think YouTube is overpriced for what Google gets. A billion dollars is not chump change, even in the silicon valley. It makes a billion for Facebook look like a deal and 500 million for MySpace to look like a steal.