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Innovation

Survivor: YouTube island?

weekly roundup If they weren't already before, the founders of popular video-sharing site YouTube became millionaires--on paper, at least--this week after they pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars in Google shares. At current stock value, Chad Hurley, Steven Chen and Jarwed Karim received some US$345 million, US$326 million and US$64.
eileen-yu
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor on
weekly roundup If they weren't already before, the founders of popular video-sharing site YouTube became millionaires--on paper, at least--this week after they pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars in Google shares. At current stock value, Chad Hurley, Steven Chen and Jarwed Karim received some US$345 million, US$326 million and US$64.6 million, respectively.

Chad Hurley and Steve Chen
=-2>source: ZDNet US


It's no chump change, and definitely not a bad deal for a company that was founded in a garage in November 2005, with a first-round funding of US$3.5 million. Today, YouTube serves 100 million videos per day and attracts nearly 20 million unique users per month. On average, more than 65,000 videos are uploaded daily. I fully appreciate its role as a platform for amateur filmmakers, musicians, singers and even comedians, to showcase their art in hopes of making a profession out of it. But, the site has also become a haven for some YouTubers who share copyright material from movies, music videos and TV shows. Analysts say the site will be plagued with copyright issues and lawsuits and question its viability as a profit-making business. Before Google unveiled plans to acquire the company, HDNet founder Mark Cuban told advertisers that "only a moron would buy You Tube". I've made it a point not to illegally consume any piece of copyright material--though it's tough to observe that practice religiously when shows like QI in the U.K. and Saturday Night Live in the U.S. are not available in some parts of Asia. While I pass no judgment on those who choose to infringe copyright, there are others who will not hesitate to do so. And the pressing question remains: can YouTube continue to survive? Google has promised to keep the YouTube flame burning, but whether an ad-sharing revenue structure is the answer remains to be seen. Meanwhile, this week, Datacraft serves up some bad news for Microsoft, and we wonder if re-branding campaigns will work out well for companies like CA and Hewlett-Packard. Kids in Paris get an open key and Oracle goes scouting for more buys.
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