09th Oct 2006, by Andrew Barr

Youtube sale on the cards? Maybe Google will buy YouTube?

Well, the mighty pink paper (financial times) ran a really interesting article this morning about YouTube maybe being sold to Google for a reported $1.6bn (£800m) fee.

There are a number of reasons why I found this interesting, not least because the current owner of YouTube, Chad Hurley (they always have great names!) has struggled to find a way to properly commercialise the site.

It is interesting from an SME point of view as it seems no matter how much your business is in the public eye, and no matter how big your website grows, the age old question of how to monetise that poularity always raises its ugly head.

I was also intrigued to see that one of the reasons analysts think Chad may be looking to sell up is due to the growing conflict YouTube faces from media, music, film and TV outlets who are sick of having their footage or work ripped and put onto the YouTube site.

These analysts also believe that Google is well practiced in legal dealings of this type, but as anyone who remembers the recent media backlash about Google's efforts over in China will say, I am not too sure they can sort this issue out. After all the media and entertainment companies will want money for their work being on show, and with YouTube having already ruled out putting short ads before the movies, it will be interesting to see how an agreement will be reached.

That being said, if anyone can find a solution I am sure it is Google, but by buying YouTube will they lose their "friendly" image and start to be seen as just another corporate business?

Will be good to watch.

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