A colleague asked for my thoughts regarding the seemingly high price for YouTube paid by Google. My short answer was that Google obviously places an extraordinary value on Internet video. When prompted for reasons for YouTube's success, I responded with:
1. It’s easy to upload videos to YouTube.
2. It’s easy to embed links to YouTube videos in your website/blog post/email.
3. There are no ads.
4. It’s free.
5. Copyright protection is limited to safe harbor aspect of DMCA, meaning by the time the take-down notice is issued the video is stale and/or replicated elsewhere.
6. MySpace didn’t offer an alternative, so their users quickly gravitated to YouTube for reasons 1-5.
My colleague responded that he absolutely agrees, especially with 1&2. His usability crusade is bolstered by the success of YouTube, and the material results ($1.6B is damn material!) of focusing on usability. Hopefully this will continue, as the YouTube founders are relieved that they can now focus on features and functionality, and leave the operational issues to others.