Liveblogging the Google/YouTube conference call on the aquisition.
Google’s Director of Investor Relations (Kim Jabal, right?) kicks it off, introducing the participants:
Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, David Drummond
From YouTube: CEO Chad Hurley, Steve Chin
Eric Schmidt started, saying they were at “YouTube world headquarters”. He notes the major deals announced in the morning. Says Chad and Steve remind him of Sergey and Larry in the beginning.
Chad comes on, says they are “excited” and “thrilled”, naturally. Notes that users are in control, and says that they are combining forces. Steve talks about Google leadership and their infrastructure. Sergey says “video is a really important part of the world’s information”.
Onto the questions: Morgan Stanley asks about how to further the integration, as well as reaching out to the content companies. Steve says they’ve come up with many ways of finding videos, and now, thanks to Google, they can push relevant videos to users. Chad says they can show that YouTube offers content owners new opportunities they never had before, and will want to have.
JP Morgan asks why buy when they have Google Video, why stock not cash. Eric says Google Video is doing very well, integrating inside of Google, while YouTube was clearly winning the marketplace in social networking. Drummond says it is a stock transaction to be tax-free for YouTube shareholders, and somewhat cheaper for Google. He’s glad that YouTube shareholders want to be Google shareholders.
Lehman Brothers asks about YouTube’s content ID architecture, and user experience as it pertains to not showing pre-roll advertising. They talk about fingerprinting and keyword searches as part of the system, and that Google’s as technology will preserve the user experience.
Another question: Monetizing YouTube in the near-term, will it be from search ads or video ads? Eric says that in the short time their engineering teams have been talking, they’ve come up with 20-30 ways to use Google to improve YouTube. He says this is only the beginning of a big movement.
Merril Lynch asks how they valued YouTube. They can’t go into the details, but this was about a synergistic model.
Financial Times asks about the role copyright played in the aquisition, and their plans for dealing with copyright issues. They say that they always respected the rights holders, and this deal just makes it easier to work with copyright holders.
Question: What integration will we see? They’ve only had 20 hours to collaborate on integration points, so there’s a lot to see. Sergey says they will need to experiment, so you won’t see results immediately.
“Google Video doesn’t go away right away or ever”.
Bear Sterns: Did the MySpace deal make YouTube more attractive? Why did YouTube choose Google over other bidders? They don’t intend to use data mining to make money. They see from MySpace that social sites have a lot of value to users, and are a whole new ecosystem they plan to be a part of. The deal has been approved by all necessary corporate approvals, and should have no problems. They had a very good negotiating process.
Time Magazine: Why did Chad say YouTube wasn’t an aquisition target? He answers that they wanted to remain independent, and they believe the Google deal lets them do that while gaining resources. Second question: What’s happening to the YouTube brand? It will continue as a seperate operation from Google, which will provide a better value to everyone.
Closing remark: “This is the next step in the evolution of the internet”.