Is $1.65 billion a lot of money?

I didn’t realize how popular online video really was until I read today that Google was purchasing YouTube Inc. for $1.65 billion.

YouTubeYouTube seems to be another one of those companies that was going to wind up facing battles over copyright infringement, but before long they will have agreements in place, similar to those that we saw with offerings like Napster and Rhapsody which allow you to stay legal by purchasing the music they offer.

I wasn’t all that familiar with YouTube other than occasionally receiving links to content from friends, so I went and checked it out for myself.  Here is what I found out:

  • Founded in 1995
  • YouTube allows you to upload, tag, and share videos worldwide
  • Browse others videos
  • Create video groups with people who have similar interests
  • Integrate videos on your own website
  • Elect for videos to be public (share with everyone) or private (share with family or friends)

The service is also completely free.  Will Google find a way to make money with it?  We’ll have to wait and see.