YouTube for $30B?

3:15 PM – Let's stop all the speculation about when YouTube Inc. is going to be acquired and what it will be worth.

Yes, we all know video sharing is hot. Light Reading's Top Ten Video Sharing Websites received more hits last week than any other video sharing news report from an online-only telecom media company with runners in scoring position.

But here's something you didn't know: I had three martinis for lunch and that helped me come up with five reasons why YouTube will be acquired for the eye-popping sum of $30.3 billion. Behold:

Reason #1: The site has a huge (actually, fat) audience and an incredible brand. And the company's name has become part of our culture. Like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), when people say they're going to "YouTube" a sex act on the Internet, we know exactly what they mean.

Reason #2: YouTube has technology that no one else has. They can, for instance, show an ad before an online video is watched OR after an online video is watched. I don't know how they do it. It's simply amazing.

Reason #3: The company has scruffy looking executives. Chad Hurley is balding in the front AND he has long hair in the back. That shows the kind of adaptability not seen in the suitworld since a young Jack Welch wore dredlocks. Likewise, corporate chieftains are all the time looking at Steve Chen's ill-fitting corduroy blazers and saying, "That guy is one holey turtleneck away from being Bill Goddamn Gates."

Reason #4: YouTube has exclusive content. Try as you might, you simply can't find the Jon Stewart-hosted Daily Show anywhere but YouTube. It's not on regular TV. It's not in movie theaters. Same goes for all the pranks from the Jackass series, and all of Shannon Tweed's nude scenes. These are only available on YouTube. Really. No where else.

Reason #5: BusinessWeek recently cited "speculation on Web-industry blogs" as a source when making some wild-ass guesses about YouTube's worth. As we all know, blogs aren't usually fact-checked. Actually, nothing is anymore. Not even the Bible. So you may as well trust a blog, right?

Well, that about covers it. Oh, and don't sweat the $30.3 billion price tag. This entire post, that figure included, is fiction. But numbers with decimals have a way of sounding more precise. I know 2.8 people who will vouch for that.

— Phil Harvey, Telly Vision Editor, Light Reading

Scott Raynovich 12/5/2012 | 3:43:21 AM
re: YouTube for $30B? C'mon Phil, in Silly Valley all that's needed is one moment of suspended disbelief -- think Snakes on a Plane or Alien -- and the VCs got ya.

Anybody remember the eBay/Skype deal at $2.6B?

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:43:20 AM
re: YouTube for $30B?


The eBay/Skype thing is not stupid for the $2.6B. It is stupid for the 1/2 of that being in cash. Stock is one thing. Cash is real.

Michael Harris 12/5/2012 | 3:43:11 AM
re: YouTube for $30B? Phil,

You forgot to mention another key reason: the V in Pulver's VON now stands for Video.

You've valued YT at about 1/3 the market cap of Google. They would be a perfect marriage in celebration of irrational exuberance.
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