Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Nabs a Few More Netflixers

Last summer, when Google wanted to overhaul its content mix on YouTube, it hired veteran Netflix dealmaker Robert Kyncl.

Now the video site has gone back to the well for a couple more hires, this time for its product and engineering team.

Last month, YouTube hired Netflix engineering VP Christian Kaiser, who is now director of engineering for the site. And today it has brought on product director Thomas Purnell-Fisher, who is going to work on “YouTube TV,” which appears to be the product the site has been calling “YouTube Leanback” up until now–a version of the site designed specifically for consumption on your couch.

Reps for both YouTube and Netflix declined to comment.

It’s tempting to draw a link between Kyncl’s hire and the two most recent Netflix additions, but I’m not sure that’s the case. For starters, YouTube’s a big place, and Netflix is a big company–it’s not a shock to see bodies moving in and out of each place.

That said, it’s still worth underscoring that Netflix stock is on a crazy ride, which means that grabbing anyone from that shop is going to be very, very expensive. Good thing Google can afford it.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald