Google Buys YouTube, and Video on the Web Enters a New Phase

It’s official. Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion today. The breaking news linked here came off (where else?) Google News. All the details will come spilling out in the next few days, but for now, keep in mind the significance.

If there was ever any doubt about the inexorable migration of television and all motion media to the web, then this purchase should clear the doubt. In other places, we have talked about last fall, September 2005, as being the starting point for this migration. And, here we are with YouTube, the bottom-up video phenom, with less than 75 employees, fetching $1.65 billion – all before it reached its first birthday.

Now YouTube will be able to be supercharged with the resources of Google, one of the world’s most flush companies, whose core business is selling extremely effective targeted advertising on the web.

Something is bound to come of this. Will it be the advertising model for motion media on the web? The definitive way to search for video (using some new technology that analyses spoken word, etc.)?

Who knows? We’re still in early days. But this was crossing a big threshold.

Peter Leyden