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Cuban: Google Ruined Online Video for All of Us

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Our favorite NewTeeVee hater has the floor again. Online video is a “disappointment” because Google (s GOOG) 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 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.

4 Responses to “Cuban: Google Ruined Online Video for All of Us”

  1. While I absolutely don’t agree with Mark Cuban — and don’t personally like the man — if YouTube had to cover its costs (no Google “subsidy”), charging users to upload video, if priced fairly, would not be the catastrophe some might expect. A minimal monetary barrier would have the effect of removing the majority of duplicate uploads as well as copyright infringers. Assuming it worked similarly to Flickr, those who actually care (and are the ones most likely to contribute worthwhile content) will be more than happy to pay for the privilege to upload.

  2. What if Cuban is right?

    I know everyone here is vested in there being a new tomorrow, but, what if he’s right?

    HULU is nearing breakeven. YouTube loses 1/2 billion/year. Unless the government wants to print more money and bail out a bunch of losing media/tech businesses, maybe Old Media wins?

    Self expression doesn’t end with new v. old – but, it does create gatekeepers, those who make sure that they can sell the self-expression and earn a few bucks. Or, “self-expressors” are more than welcome to express-away with tools that don’t cost other people money. Self expression isn’t a pass-go Card that allows access to Other People’s costly tool sets.

  3. Come on Mark-get in the game! Why are you so late to the party, and please get your facts updated.

    It’s brilliant to build audience (for free) – then you have something that advertisers DUH!!!!

    Most realize that no one platform will attract all audiences. Full integration is key (look at what PBS is doing) The wild west is over and the smart players have realized that they have to play nice in a together sort of way (a theory that may be foreign to you)

    When I hear diatribes like this – it just makes me sad-take your marbles and go home little boy.

  4. timekeeper

    Oh my…

    It seems like Mark doesn’t like that the market has not implemented any of his brilliant ideas that were conceived when he was at He does not seem to understand that the market would push these concepts if the market really demanded it. Features for feature’s sake just don’t fly.

    If he said “subsidize” one more time I was going to scream! The ENTIRE media community is subsidized. Everything ranging from production, talent, marketing, and distribution is subsidized. There are a lot of tax payers dollars invested in the internet. Why shouldn’t someone else subsidize it for a while? Go Google – spend all that money on delivering free video to us! I’ll click on a few of those adds on your search page if it will mean more subsidized bandwidth.

    If you take his best case scenario and Google tanks (I’m not sure why he hates Google/YouTube so much) and they stop subsidizing video bandwidth with advertising revenue from their search page (I’m not sure why this advertising is different that pre-roll, post-roll, banner and embedded advertising), another company will step up and meet the challenge. If there is a market, there will be suppliers.

    With HDNet, Mark has moved into Media Business and fully understands the threat that the internet has on it, as a whole. Now that he sits at the table with all the good ol’ media boys, he doesn’t seem to want get up and leave the room. Instead of embracing the change and effecting the course of innovation he is resisting it.

    To quote a famous character in the media: “Resistance is futile.”