Jeff Jarvis has an insightful analysis of how and why he thinks Google’s purchase of YouTube makes sense.
YouTube made the new TV social. It enabled people to recommend the good – or at least amusing — stuff not just by their clicks and ratings but also by their actions: YouTube allowed us to put good videos up on our blogs. YouTube enabled us to become network programmers.
I believe that the serving of 100 million videos is the least valuable service that YouTube provides. Serving all those videos was an important and insightful step in the process of exploding television as we knew it and handing its power to the people. But I believe the end of that process will have us serving videos from wherever — from Google or our own blogs and servers or via peer-to-peer technology that vastly reduces the cost of distribution.
Part of the beauty of YouTube is that people can create their own channels, and recommend videos to friends, and there is a way of helping people find the good stuff. As Jarvis says, the combination of smart algorithms honed by social bookmarking has promise to make this new world of a million-plus video channels work.
“Five hundred channels, and nothing worth watching.” That’s the old saying about cable TV and the Dish. Jarvis thinks this Google-YouTube marriage may be able to keep people from saying the same thing about exploded TV (registration required, but worth it).