YouTube and conservatives

When Google paid more than a billion dollars for YouTube, I was rather surprised. While it is an established brand name, YouTube enjoys weak barriers to entry for competitors. Ebay, in contrast, is very difficult to challenge because by having the largest base of buyers, sellers will generally prefer to list their items there. MySpace, another expensive acquisition (by News Corp.) has a membership feature that attracts and keeps members, who want to connect on the site where all their friends are.. The same goes for Face Book, but with a college cohort. Even Google, because its engine has greater reach, is difficult to challenge.

Most people view YouTube videos when they see them linked on a website, or when friends send them a link via email. In other words, someone recommends the video to them. Yes, some souls do spend their hours browsing through the YouTube offerings, of course, but I suspect this is a comparatively small slice of their business. The size of its archive is not a decisive barrier to entry.

Thus, YouTube is quite vulnerable to upstart competition.

This makes the appearance of political bias at YouTube all the more troubling for its business prospects. If the roughly 30% of the populace which identifies as conservative becomes alienated, that is the basis for a strong copettitive threat. Indeed, Hot Air already hosts many politically incorrect conservative videos, and does not hesitate to criticize YouTube.

Yesterday, I became aware of another challenger from the right:, currently in its Beta release, but available to all.  The founders of OurCountry are Lee Troxler  (Writer/Producer of FarenHype 911) and Floyd G. Brown (Young Americas Foundation). Right now, the site features a lot of conservative humor as well as more serious material. Users will be able to post their own video material, though the site will filter out objectionable material, as YouTube does, but with a different political lens.

Earlier, I wrote,
Television broadcasters no longer control the distribution of videos. If one can make an attractive product, a short, funny message with a punch to it, the viral marketing of the internet will distribute it for you.... Derision is one of the most potent persuasive tools in all of politics. It cuts right through pretension and endless repetition, both of which are primary tools of left wing media efforts to influence the public.
The decentralization of broadcasting via the web is steadily eroding the biggest political asset of the left: its control of media gatekeepers. Market forces driven by technology have always been anathema to established powers, for they threaten their control. The video revolution has only begun.

Google brilliantly exploited its search engine to build a hugely valuable company. But staying on top in this age of rapid change is no easy trick. In many ways, it is quite obvious that some very smart people run the company. I don't own any Google stock (too bad for me that I didn;t buy early), but if I had any now, I would not count on it holding its value.