Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Conspiracy theory No. 1: Google's evil plan

posted by Andy Leff
Time for my daily conspiracy theory-slash-rant! Today's springboard: YouTube's announcement that it will share profits with people who generate enough content to draw advertisers.

This business model will pan out in one, and only one way. Google (YouTube's parent co.) has a huge purse of money -- at last count, around $7 billion. They can and will dip into it to pay their most prolific video uploaders.

This will get everyone onto YouTube which, overnight, became Google's most recognized brand. Google will then make even more money, and slowly push sites with similar profit-sharing models -- Revver, Metacafe, and, among others -- into death by 1000 cuts.

Then, as these smaller players asphyxiate, Google will acquire them. This, in turn, adds more market share for their own video services, as they fold these other services into YouTube.

And once they have control of the video market, it would not surprise me to see them roll out advertisements embedded in their videos (such as what AdBrite is doing in beta mode) to make -- all together now! -- even more money.

The final nail in the digital coffin: Google AdWords all over these pages. This will make them the dominant multimedia site on the planet, and win them an almost-but-not-quite monopoly.

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