Well turns out
the speculation, which was first reported on Techcrunch
on Friday
, was true. Google has
acquired YouTube
for $1.65 Billion in stock.

Out of all the reports, the thing that most strikes me is how much Google believes
video is the future of the Internet. As Paul Kedrosky put it in his excellent wrapup
of the news

“Google is very, very bullish about online video. It was more than spin, with the
conviction coming through loud and clear.”

PaidContent.org also
Google CEO Eric Schmidt: “This is the next step in the evolution of the
internet. It (video’s) a natural next step.”

The YouTube brand will continue, probably with the addition of Google Adsense at some

There is a LOT of talk about the deal, but for me it’s significant as a watershed
moment for the Web and online video. If Google is willing to spend $1.65B on the leading
online video company, then they must believe that for both YouTube and the online video
industry as a whole – there is a lot more growth to come.

YouTube is in many ways the MTV of the current generation. What’s more, it has a user
experience better than any other online video site OR tv channel. Check out
Compete’s recent analysis
of YouTube compared to Google’s own video site for some
clear reasons why:

“More people visit YouTube, they come back to the site more often, and spend more time
on the site each time they visit. That is a certifiable triple whammy and a knockout
punch rolled into one.”

Enough talk, it’ll be interesting to watch what Google does with YouTube now – beyond
putting its ads on it.