Our favorite NewTeeVee hater has the floor again. Online video is a “disappointment” because Google is subsidizing YouTube’s bandwidth, said Mark Cuban at the D Conference yesterday. Here’s the video (I sure hope that BMW pre-roll paid for my bandwidth!):
“When Google bought YouTube, they didn’t get into it with a focus on monetizing it immediately, and so as a result it took off, and the message was ubiquity and volume,” said Cuban, the original Internet video entrepreneur with Broadcast.com and now chairman of HDNet. If Google got taken out, he contends, the industry would disappear, because if people had to pay to upload videos, most of them would stop. “If the model isn’t there where it’s complete subsidy, the whole concept of Internet video gets flipped on its head.”
Is everything really Google’s fault? Cuban doesn’t hold Hulu as accountable as YouTube because it has focused on monetization from the start, and doesn’t worry about other profitless web services like Twitter because its 140-character missives should hardly clog anyone’s pipes (besides perhaps Twitter’s — downtime is its middle name).
Cuban knows how to put a good diatribe together, and he’s been honing this one for years. But we say, have a little optimism! Enabling people to push the boundaries of self-expression can’t be so bad.