MediaFile

from Commentaries:

Gut feeling: How Google CEO valued YouTube deal

Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google, sits for an interview at the Newseum in Washington on Oct. 2, 2009Let the second-guessing, the mock horror, the disbelief, the crowing begin.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has acknowledged he realized upfront that he was overpaying to acquire YouTube, to the tune of $1 billion, judged by any conventional measures.

The many critics of Google's $1.65 billion deal to acquire the video-sharing site three years ago will claim this confirms everything they have always said about the deal. Not quite.

In fact, not really at all.

Schmidt came clean in a deposition by lawyers in the Viacom copyright lawsuit that there was very little revenue coming into YouTube to justify the price his company paid.

No surprises here. There were intangibles to consider:

1. YouTube's popularity was sky-rocketing, making it the runaway market leader among video-sharing sites.
2. It was crushing his company's own site, Google Video.
3. YouTube was up for auction and would be sold to a competitor unless Google jumped first.
4. Google overbid to ensure YouTube didn't fall into rival hands.

The Google CEO said he told his company's board of directors that the 18-month-old video-sharing site was worth $600 million to $700 million, according to CNet, which obtained a transcript of his testimony. Of course, he fails to mention the potential costs of copyright lawsuits that already loomed for YouTube.

Did Apple buy mapping company Placebase?

Although the company isn’t saying anything, it appears as if Apple has purchased a small Web mapping service called Placebase.

The loose ends were tied together Wednesday in a Computerworld blog post.  When asked to confirm whether it had indeed purchased the company, an Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Word of the buy cropped up briefly back in July but failed to attract much notice. But Computerworld noted that the LinkedIn pages for both the founder and the CTO of Placebase now show them as Apple employees.

Google Search: Fresh, not real time

Google has yet to outline a gameplan to respond to the search world’s latest phenomenon: real time search.

But the Internet company clearly recognizes the importance of fresh search results.

On Thursday Google announced a new feature that lets Web surfers view only search results that have been indexed by its Web crawlers within the past hour.

Google’s Fast Flip Trick

Google wants its online news site to feel more like the good old print product.

And the company is prepared to pay for it.

Google took the wraps off of Fast Flip on Monday, a slick online tool that lets readers flip through articles from newspapers and magazines as quickly and effortlessly as if they were turning the pages of a magazine.

The company said it will share advertising revenue with the 30 publishers whose content is currently available on Fast Flip, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and Newsweek.

Obsessive Google-watchers may recall that rumors of this product emerged back in June.

Motorola and Google: a bar-room marriage

It’s easy to frame the latest tech business developments as epic clashes of giants and alliances of superpowers.

But Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha finds more inspiration for his metaphors in saloon bar lovers.

After unveiling the Cliq smartphone at the Mobilize 09 event in San Francisco on Thursday, Jha explained to the crowd how it was he turned to Google executive Andy Rubin and the Google Android operating system for the new phone.

Google: Gmail outage a “big deal”

By Laura Isensee

A majority of Google users from California to Taiwan found themselves without access to Google’s popular email service on Tuesday.

Google has a diagnosis: The outage, which lasted more than an hour and a half, was a “Big Deal.”

The company outlined what went wrong on its blog.

“We took a small fraction of Gmail’s servers offline to perform routine upgrades,” Ben Treynor, vice president of engineering and site reliability czar, wrote.

Apple hasn’t rejected Google Voice iPhone app after all

Apple, Google and AT&T all filed their responsesFriday to the FCC’s requestfor more information in the Google Voice app saga. The story line thus far has been trying to determine the reasons behind Apple’s decision to reject the iPhone app.  Some blamed AT&T for the thumbs down, believing that the iPhone’s exclusive U.S. carrier feared the app would provide competition for voice services on the smartphone.

But Apple said AT&T played no role in the rejection. In fact, the iPhone maker said the Google Voice app hasn’t even been rejected.

“Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it,” Apple said in its response. “The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, it appears to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail.”

Vonage CEO sees no reason for iPhone Google Voice rejection

The US telecom regulator FCC has been looking into why Apple rejected an Internet telephony application from Google for inclusion in its iPhone application store. Responses from Google, Apple and AT&T, the exclusive U.S. iPhone carrier, are due today.

Along with Google Voice’s consumer fans, the outcome of the inquiry will be closely watched by other Internet telephone services such as eBay’s Skype. Apple approved a Skype app for iPhone but consumers can only make Skype calls when they are connected to a short-range wi-fi network and not via the AT&T cellular network.
The head of another U.S. Internet telephony provider Vonage weighed in on the topic in an interview this week. Vonage plans to offer its own mobile communications application later this year.

Marc Lefar previously served as chief marketing officer of Cingular, now AT&T Mobility, where he helped put together the mobile operator’s iPhone deal with Apple, before becoming Vonage Chief Executive last year. Taking his previous experience in the wireless industry into acccount, Lefar said it was unclear to him why the Google Voice application was rejected for iPhone.

Is Google’s message on YouTube starting to get through?

YouTube executives and spinmeisters have been pushing back more aggressively at the perception that the video site is a great big drain on Google’s bottomline, probably  losing $200 million to $500 million a year by some estimates. These execs say that hundreds of major advertisers are taking spots on YouTube against “hundreds of millions” of video views every week.

The problem with this is the lack of precise details. How much revenue is YouTube generating from these monetized videos exactly (even approximately)? And how much does it cost to stream and store those hundreds of millions of videos every week? Google and YouTube decline to provide any numbers other than to say things are moving in the right direction. Wall Street and investors are yet to be convinced.

Goldman Sachs analyst James Mitchell is the latest to have a shot at a respectable estimate for YouTube. He says it will generate around $300 million in 2009. He also thinks the best is yet to come from YouTube — and that Google will see some benefit.

from Commentaries:

Online video: Revolution, Evolution or Counter-Revolution?

Lots of news in online video world, some potentially significant. 

And some we can only wait and see about.

Google Inc, Cisco Systems and News Corp are separately doing things that could mean sweeping changes in the way video is produced and consumed on the web. Eric Schmidt John Chambers Rupert Murdoch