Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

AOL Finally Lands on YouTube

Want to be big in online video? It helps if people can see your stuff on the world’s biggest video site.

So that’s what Tim Armstrong is going to do: After years of keeping its clips off YouTube, AOL is finally going to start distributing its video on Google’s site, via 22 branded “channels.”

TechCrunch will gets its own real estate there, and so will HuffPost Live, and Moviefone, etc.

These aren’t YouTube’s new channels, where Google offers video makers a cash advance in exchange for a window of exclusivity on the site.

Instead, the deal is constructed the way YouTube used to approach “premium” content makers: A simple Internet real estate + revenue sharing deal.

That is, AOL gives YouTube access to the stuff it’s already making, and sells the YouTube inventory itself. The clips will run using YouTube’s player, and the two companies split revenue.

A simple premise, with an obvious upside for both sides. The only real question is why it took this long to get it done. Perhaps Tim Armstrong’s predecessors didn’t fully appreciate YouTube’s heft, but the AOL CEO doesn’t have that excuse himself: His last big job at Google before he left for AOL was a YouTube overhaul.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work