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Is YouTube doomed?


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#1 Karel Bata

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 06:50 PM

According a recent report by analysts at the financial-services company Credit Suisse, Google will lose $470 million on the video-sharing site this year alone. Do You Think Bandwidth Grows on Trees?

Already they've limited uploads to 10 minutes. Expect to see more of the same... :(


Then again, maybe they'll get a bailout...? :D
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 08:03 PM

Who ever sold YOUTube to Google will go down in history for making a very shrewd business deal :lol: Along with the guys that sold Chrysler to Mercedes.

It just goes to prove that content delivery must generate some form of sustainable income to be viable.

R,
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 08:25 PM

This always reminds me of the South Park episode where the kids meet the elves that steal people's underwear in the washer. They keep telling everyone it's part of their master plan to get rich: STEP ONE: STEAL UNDERWEAR. STEP THREE: PROFITS!

The kids ask what Step Two is. "We don't know what Step Two is, all we know is Step Three is PROFITS!"

That's the dot.com industry in a nutshell.
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#4 Marc Alucard

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 09:14 PM

Who ever sold YOUTube to Google will go down in history for making a very shrewd business deal :lol: Along with the guys that sold Chrysler to Mercedes.

It just goes to prove that content delivery must generate some form of sustainable income to be viable.

R,


Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner got $5.9 billion for Broadcast.com in Yahoo stock when they did their deal. Yahoo payed $1.65 billion for You Tube.
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#5 Marc Alucard

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 09:17 PM

This always reminds me of the South Park episode where the kids meet the elves that steal people's underwear in the washer. They keep telling everyone it's part of their master plan to get rich: STEP ONE: STEAL UNDERWEAR. STEP THREE: PROFITS!

The kids ask what Step Two is. "We don't know what Step Two is, all we know is Step Three is PROFITS!"

That's the dot.com industry in a nutshell.



Underpants Gnomes. They offend easily.
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#6 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 09:32 PM

It's a shame it can't turn a profit because it may be the single most awesome thing since the internet was invented.
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#7 Marc Alucard

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 09:46 PM

Too bad it would be tough to get paying subscribers for You Tube. It is yet another dot.com that is a financial black hole. The bigger they get, the quicker the losses pile up.

The depth and scope of content on You Tube always blows me away. That took a mountain of bandwidth and hardware/software to upload, serve, and store.
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 09:56 PM

Man I hope it doesn't fold, where else can we get access to, Miss South Carolina Answers A Question, or all the great George Bush one-liners cut together as a single video.

I'm surprised they can't sell more ads on YouTUBE. Why can't they do what CNN does and run a :30 commercial in front of every video?

R,
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#9 Tom Lowe

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:08 PM

They will be able to make youtube profitable soon enough. I doubt that these reported losses are legit. Youtube can simply plaster ads on their pages and on their vids; that's a business model. It's how Google got rich in the first place - advertising.

The real question is, will youtube be able to jump into the content delivery business that Netflix seems to have gotten a big headstart on. For nearly a decade we have known that instant HD delivered to home entertainment is the way of the future. But even now, it's unclear how that market will shake out.

If fiber optic to the door becomes the norm for broadband, instantaneous 1080p and even 4K will become the norm. The question is, who is going to provide that content? ISPs? Cable companies? Netflix? Microsoft? Youtube? Right now, it's mainly pirates and bit torrents supplying 1080p to homes.
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#10 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:20 AM

You need an ecoomy generating wealth in order to sustain advertising. In a recession advertising budgets tend to be reduced and You Tube could suffer that same as any other broadcaster, unless their audience has some unique features. There has to be a financial stream to sustain the content, I expect the porn industry will show the way, just has they have in the past on the internet.

In the end, Amazon is just a mail order business.

In the domestic environment 4k is a bit of a waste, the current HD 1080p image on say Blu Ray meets the resolution needs of the human eye whilst sitting on the sofa. Improving the quality of the films and programmes themselves would be something to be considered first.
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#11 Karel Bata

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:59 AM

"The question is, who is going to provide that content?" I think the question there is: who will pay for that infrastructure?

Assuming that 'advertisers' will pay for services like YT always was a dubious assumption. There's only so much advertising revenue to go 'round (as TV channels have found out) and they prefer sites that have more targeted audiences, particularly those that are proven to actually spend money rather than expect to get their entertainment for free. Even more so in a recession.

I always thought that YT must have known what they were doing. It didn't make a lot of sense, but I thought I must be missing something important, perhaps some little secret (ever had that feeling about world events?) but it turns out that in fact it's all exactly what it looks like - a bit of a sad mess.

What surprises me is that they've not tried to secure their future, not created any reason for users to have 'brand loyalty', other than simple familiarity. YT is like a billboard in the street, and with about as much interactivity. You look up, it's there. And anyone else (Apple, Microsoft..) can muscle in. Nothing to stop them - other than common sense! Look at the success of Spotify - a free online music service that is set to overtake iTunes. What's to stop people migrating? It's the equivalent of channel-hopping. You have to give people a compelling reason to stick around, or you'll lose them. Or take the YT aesthetic. What aesthetic? It has all the appeal of a page from eBay. Anywhere else on the net is more attractive. My point is that they've cultivated this boot sale image, where everything is for free (mostly junk), any idiot is welcome to ply their wares, and now find they can't attract sufficient corporate advertising. Well - big surprise!

That said, it has been a revolution, and all credit to the Google guys for being prepared to sink so much of their cash into such a dodgy venture. They've deservedly written a page for themselves in the history books.
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#12 Walter Graff

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 08:06 AM

One never knows the fate of these services. Problem with youtube is it started as a free service sans advertisements. Many times as David alluded to in his Southpark reference, internet folks often don't think things through. And youtube customers have made it clear that they don't want ads so the company is left with a problem, how do you sell advertizing when no one wants to see it. Right now youtibe is selling ads against only 3% of it's video. It has more room obviously but it is a slow process to slip in ads and have folks accept them.
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#13 Tom Lowe

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:20 AM

In the domestic environment 4k is a bit of a waste, the current HD 1080p image on say Blu Ray meets the resolution needs of the human eye whilst sitting on the sofa.


No offense, but we have heard this argument many times before, and it's always wrong. People always want more resolution, and sound and image fidelity. 4K is actually a perfect sweet spot, because the huge amount of entertainment shot over the last century on 35mm scans to roughly 4K in many cases. Going beyond 4K, though, will not happen for a long time, because of precisely that same issue.
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#14 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:51 AM

No offense, but we have heard this argument many times before, and it's always wrong. People always want more resolution, and sound and image fidelity. 4K is actually a perfect sweet spot, because the huge amount of entertainment shot over the last century on 35mm scans to roughly 4K in many cases. Going beyond 4K, though, will not happen for a long time, because of precisely that same issue.


To be worthwhile the main feature in the room would need to be a very large screen, so that a viewer can actually resolve all 4k information on the screen. In the domestic environment that would be like having IMAX, which may be OK for the enthusiast, but perhaps rather limiting given variety of uses people make of average living room.

Hi Fi is a niche market and I suspect that 4K would rather similar, considering it's being only just now being introduced for higher end digital cinemas. 2K is the common scan used on most 35mm productions and given the amount of bandwidth this takes up and associated problems, having 4 times the data doesn't really make much sense, especially when the human eye can't resolve the extra detail at normal viewing distances. 1080p Blu Ray doesn't do any favours for the older leading lady as it stands.

Some people may wish to have a personal 70mm type home cinema system, but the market will be much smaller than 1080 systems. Given the mass uptake in ipods I suspect the larger market isn't for high fidelity.
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#15 Tom Lowe

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 11:19 AM

Brian, wanna make a long-term bet on this?

Anytime you bet against the advancement of technology and the lust of AV aficionados for more resolution and fidelity, you are on the wrong side of that bet.

Watch and see what happens. Rumors out of NAB are that Sony is launching a 4K monitor.

Not only will 4K+ cameras fuel this quest for 4K resolution, gamers are also driving the resolution arms race.

Edited by Tom Lowe, 20 April 2009 - 11:24 AM.

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#16 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 11:42 AM

Brian, wanna make a long-term bet on this?

Anytime you bet against the advancement of technology and the lust of AV aficionados for more resolution and fidelity, you are on the wrong side of that bet.

Watch and see what happens. Rumors out of NAB are that Sony is launching a 4K monitor.

Not only will 4K+ cameras fuel this quest for 4K resolution, gamers are also driving the resolution arms race.


I expect Sony will be bring out a 4k monitor, that makes sense, but that's a long way from 4k being sent by broadband.

I know the lust of for fidelity, but as you say it's aficionados and I say this owning two large floor standing Tannoy loudspeakers, but most people only use speakers approx 1/16 the size. I seem to recall 35mm still cameras are more common than 2 1/4 square stills cameras.

Gamers do push things, although pushing around 4 times the data could involve other trade offs in their game play, plus an increase in the cost of their games with all that extra detailing.
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#17 John Sprung

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 11:45 AM

Some people may wish to have a personal 70mm type home cinema system, ....


I knew a guy who had a pair of AA-2 Norelco's in a booth he built onto his garage. He ran 70mm changeover for his friends. For larger groups, he had a Simplex and a platter system in the attic, and projected on the wall of the apartment building across the back alley. Last I heard, he owns a theater in Chicago now.





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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 11:52 AM

I don't see the need for 4K in the home, not when 2K can fill a 50' movie theater screen and look decent. Even if I converted an entire wall of my house to a screen, 1080P is probably going to be adequate to fill that. 35mm print projection is 2K more or less, and how many people need better than 35mm print projection quality for a home screen?

4K monitors are not for entertainment purposes, they are for looking at 4K footage in a production or post environment when you need a pixel to pixel representation.

Sure, resolution increases over time, but on the other hand, we had standard def video for how many decades? We're just now getting 720P, 1080i, and 1080P into homes, I'd say that we're going to have a period where that's the deliverable content size for awhile.

4K presentations into movie theaters, that's more likely than 4K movies at home.

I can see 2K/1080P at home, and 4K in theaters as being a reasonable standard for the coming decade.

"4K" has become such a popular phrase to throw around, but considering that even RED ONE photography can't achieve 4K resolution, nor most 35mm photography, nor any HD photography... then there isn't even a lot of true 4K content out there anyway. It's overkill for home viewing. People use the term "4K" and say they need it despite the fact that they've seen very little 4K content.

4K for origination makes sense because we need oversampling. 5K or 6K would be even better. But for delivery, 4K for big theater screens, 2K for medium theater screens, and 1080P at home looks great and resolves pretty much any detail that is on the original usually. Saying we need to see movies in 4K at home is like saying that anything less than a 70mm projector in your house is unacceptable, sort of billionaire talk.
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#19 Tom Lowe

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:16 PM

David, keep in mind that many young people, for example, don't watch movies on traditional TVs or HDTVs. They are planted in front of their computers watching 1080p downloads or Blurays. Same thing with gaming. Their face is like 2 feet away from the screen. So a 40-inch 4K monitor, for example, would definitely increase viewing pleasure for movies or gaming. It's just the natural, obvious progression of technology.

Gamers spend $5,000 - $10,000 on new PC rigs. It's like the center of their life. Believe me, they will pay for 4K. Same thing with AV aficionados. Keep in mind that only a short time ago, "big screens" and "flat screens" were a very niche market for audio-visualphiles. Now they are in most homes. Only a short time ago Bluray was very niche and very expensive. IMO, Bluray would be getting adopted even faster right now if we'd not suffered through that useless HD DVD vs Bluray war which left Sony nearly bankrupt, causing them to have to charge huge, punishing Bluray "licensing" fees.

I am absolutely convinced that 4K (or quad HD?) will be the new display Gold Standard.

Edited by Tom Lowe, 20 April 2009 - 12:18 PM.

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#20 John Sprung

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:41 PM

There are a lot of people who will choose a mid-range price/performance point. For them, 1080p will be a really nice TV. There are others who'll buy whatever has the biggest number, whether they can actually use it or not, even whether it's real or not. That's why there are 7.5 liter V-8 car engines, 6.5 horsepower shop vacs, monster cable, etc. There's a business model that works very well selling big numbers at a high but not impossible price point.




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