This had to have been a tough deal to bring off under all the scrutiny and leaks, so huge kudos to Google for completing the deal, as well as for keeping it from turning into an auction. Congrats also to Sequoia and Chad et al., at YouTube.
For myself, I feel vindicated for taking the view that YouTube skeptics were wrongheaded on this one. They overestimated the copyright complications, and they underestimated the value of this lovely piece of inventory for Google. It is ideally suited to the company's AdSense technology.
Finally, and more broadly, this is going to have a lot of investment bankers flogging a lot of video companies. Revver, Veoh, etc., etc., are going to be deemed "in play" and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO)/Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)/Fox (NASDAQ:NWS) and so on are going to be the focus of a great deal of selling attention. It will be interesting to watch to see how well they withstand the temptation to "get themselves a YouTube."
My main impressions
* It is a big deal that Google is doing a major acquisition in area where it has an existing product (i.e., Google Video). A tech company without "not-invented here" [NIH] syndrome is a competitively dangerous tech company indeed.
* Google is very, very bullish about online video. It was more than spin, with the conviction coming through loud and clear.
* Eric is being Toffler-esque, and pushing the "I'm a futurist" and video is the natural next step, which I entirely buy.
* There is going to be immense pressure on networks and others to figure out whether they partner or compete (read: buy) by way of response. Google clearly hopes they partner, but Fox, for one, has made clear it wants to compete.
* It is also a big deal that Google tipped other large acquisitions in this area. Even If not reckless by intent, it will cause even larger capital inflows into this over-heated area.
* Finally, while not necessarily a big deal, it was interesting that both YouTube founders were on the call, as was Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin. Larry Page was nowhere to be seen.
Estimating GooTube revenues
In case you're in the mood to prove the naysayers wrong (or right) about YouTube's revenue potential, there is a nice online calculator here for coming up with revenue estimates for Google's latest acquisition.
It's hugely sensitive to CPM, licensed content, and audience estimates, but you can come up with numbers from $30m to $300m, depending on how much of an optimist (or pessimist) you are.
GOOG 1-yr chart: