Best possible owner
Google, Ms. Reider told attendees, is the best possible parent for YouTube. "Well over 100 million videos are being watched a day on YouTube. I can't think of a better owner for YouTube than Google," she said. "They've been able to help us enormously with the back end and infractructure."
She added that Google has also purchased YouTube just as sales of online video ads are poised to take off. "A year or two ago, the broadcaster didn't have the opportunity to buy what you were selling," Ms. Reider said. "The format was something agencies didn't have the tools or management capabilities to buy. We're seeing more of interactive agencies who actually have broadband folks."
And just what does she think is the appeal of YouTube? "It's about content distribution. There are ways for comedians and artists and filmmakers to rise up and be found in ways that never would have happened before," Ms. Reider said. "If a talent agent is not going to own that starlet who's waitressing nights and trying to crack her way into Hollywood, there's going to be other ways for performers and content to rise up and be found. That's what the YouTube environment is all about: digital distribution of entertainment content."
'Community in control'
She listed as an example the underground contest for unsigned bands, sponsored by Cingular, that started six weeks ago. "We had 2,500 pieces of content come into the system that were bands uploading their shows and they were totally in control of that. Users were posting video replies. All of that happens, but it's the community in control, not us."
The global nature of YouTube, she noted, is another reason why the video portal has found so much success. "You can search for content by language, then you can see content in the system for that country. The way I've been thinking about the site is, it is global," she said. "If you start to cord it off and have localized versions of it, you lose the very essence of what's so powerful about it and bringing content in from all over the world. If you only want to see content in a foreign language you can search for that too."