Salar Kamangar

Coming soon: paid YouTube channels?

When Google purchased YouTube for $1.65bn in late 2006, some wondered whether the acquisition would be the Web 2.0 equivalent of Yahoo’s ill-fated billion-dollar purchase of Broadcast.com during the first .com boom.

It was hard not to be somewhat skeptical: YouTube was an expensive operation to run and was facing the same type of legal assault from Hollywood that basically killed Napster 1.0 years earlier.

Can Google take on cable with paid YouTube subscriptions?

Google’s acquisition of YouTube may prove to be one of the savviest in internet history. Although some believed it appeared rich at the time, ask any of the companies that could have purchased Facebook for $1bn-plus less than a decade ago, and they’d probably tell you that sometimes, eleven figures is cheap.

But a big part of the reason YouTube has been so successful following its acquisition by Google is that the search giant continues to invest heavily in its development. The company is working with Hollywood to produce original content, and has made great strides over the years in inking licensing pacts with content creators.