CORRECTED-Sun Valley: YouTube’s most valuable customer

July 8, 2009

Corrects blog post to show Buffett was talking about YouTube, not Facebook.

Attention YouTube: Warren Buffett wants to give you money.

That’s the word from Liberty Media Chairman John Malone, who sat on a panel about digital media at the Allen & Co confab in Sun Valley on Tuesday.

Malone told reporters on the sidelines of the event that billionaire investor Buffet, aka the Oracle of Omaha, had told him privately that he would be willing to pay $5 a month to use YouTube, the popular video site owned by Google.

YouTube, of course, is a free Web service which makes its money through advertising. But other popular social media like Twitter have yet to generate revenue, and monetizing social networks is a big topic of discussion among the media and tech executives gathered for the conference.

“Sooner or later people are going to get addicted to some of these services and they’ll be willing to pay for it. The question is really the economics,” Malone said.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt, or founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, have yet to turn up at the event.

If one of them does, they might want to have a chat with Buffett.

(Photo: Malone talks to reporters as he arrives at the Sun Valley Inn, July 8, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

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