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Google's $1.65 Billion purchase of YouTube – can marketers benefit?

After a week of rumours flying around on blogs and main stream media sites, Google made the announcement that they have purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion in stocks. The key to the success of the acquisition will be Google’s ability to monitize YouTube’s visitors and video streams. The danger is liability for copyright infringement of the videos while trying to avoid bombarding visitors with too many ads.  With their two recent deals, YouTube has already proved their worth a large price tag as CEO Chad Hurley recently struck a deal with music mogal P Diddy to launch PiddyTV and another with CBS.

Will Google Video disappear? On the announcement conference call yesterday Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt said that it will become a stronger part of Google and there will not be a name change. Marketers, get ready for the call from your local Google sales rep, they have a new product to sell in the upcoming weeks. Based on data from Hitwise, it looks like it may be worth the investment of your marketing spend. On LeeAnn Prescott’s blog, she reports that Hitwise which monitors Internet traffic shows that the average session time for YouTube has doubled that of Google Video. YouTube keeps visitors on the site for 18 minutes and 33 seconds.

Since it first appeared on the Internet on February 2005, YouTube has grow to well over 100 million video views per day with aproximately 65,000 new videos being added every day.

The opportunity for marketers will be to figure out new ways to leverage consumer generated content.  For a great example of someone who’s figured it out, let’s turn to Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report with their Colbert Nation fan based site.  Colbert has issued a Green Screen Challenge where he encourages fans to take his green screen videos and turn them into new content with Steven added into the finished videos.  Whether you are a fan of the show or now, you have to admit that this is just a brilliant marketing move.  These new video are then displayed on the site, as well as make their way over to YouTube (see video) funny stuff, just don’t get caught laughing at your computer monitor in the office.
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