It’s hard to believe it, but it’s already been a year since Google acquired YouTube for a monstrous $1.65 Billion dollars. Happy 1 year anniversary to YouTube and Google! At the time of the acquisition, there were numerous questions that came up which we can now answer one year later:
- What’s going to happen with Google Video? It took a little while to determine what would happen, but as of now, it’s clear that the direction Google is taking with Google Video is search. YouTube supplies the videos while Google Video allows us to search those videos.
- Will YouTube remain separate from Google as their own brand? It was clear right from the start that YouTube would remain YouTube. Google has integrated YouTube into some of their services, but they haven’t merged the two services together under one roof.
- Will there be a drop in content? Last year when we wrote about this acquisition, commenter Shirizaki said “The first thing Google will do is strip every piece of copyrighted content from that site.” Of course they were, they had to! Copyrighted content has been a huge issue this year for Google and YouTube with lawsuits like when Viacom tried to purge Google’s money bank with a $1 billion dollar lawsuit over copyrighted content. Because of all these issues, Google had to make filtering YouTube videos a top priority or face more lawsuits.
While YouTube has remained separate, we’ve seen Google integrate YouTube into some of their services. One perfect example of this is found in Google Earth where there is now (as of today) a YouTube video layer so that users can view videos from around the world. According to Google’s Lat Long Blog, this feature will work very simply. They explain it as follows: “Let’s say you’re jetting off to Paris. Before you go, you can watch the sunset filmed from the top floor of the Eiffel Tower, among other clips of popular spots in the City of Lights.”
Over the last year, YouTube has remained the most popular online video sharing service out there, but they’re certainly not standing alone! TechCrunch points out that the video sharing sector is quite crowded with YouTube clones, and services that are trying to offer something better than YouTube in hopes of earning a big pay day. There’s no doubt that there are “better” services out there that offer more features but one year later, YouTube still receives over 205 million unique visitors each month which places them at the top of the list! The closest competitor is Yahoo Video with 48 million unique visitors each month.
Clearly, YouTube is winning the popularity contest here, but can they remain as popular over the next year as some of the other services that TechCrunch pointed out like blip.tv try and take over their space?