People seem really good at forgetting history. While most people realize that
Google bought YouTube early on in that company's existence, they tend to
forget that this was, in part, because YouTube was beating the pants off of
Google's own online service called Google Video. The big difference? Google
Video's launch focused very much on _selling_ videos and using annoying DRM
that had to check in with a server any time you wanted to watch. It was a
complete and total failure, which probably cost an even larger amount when you
realize it made Google more desperate to buy YouTube.
A few years later, Google tried again, playing up the ability to pay for
videos... and once again it flopped pitifully. A 10 day test brought in just a
little bit over $10,000 -- which is hardly worth the effort involved.
Perhaps the third time's the charm? People are reporting that YouTube is
getting ready to launch a paywall feature, which may have 50 "channels" locked
up behind the wall. The idea is to be more of a Hulu or Netflix-type
competitor, though rather than a flat fee for access to all locked up ...