I gotta be honest, I'm a slow learner.
I didn't "get" Youtube when it first came out and I certainly didn't "get" why anyone, or any company would pay more than a billion dollars to acquire that site in 2006 .. As pure-play domainers with what are essentially free visits that come for the keyword weight of the names we own, many of us frown on development of websites as a distraction to making paid search revenue.
Why would you build a website, sweat and toil if you can just put up a rudimentary page, give people the information they desire and move them along to another targeted website, getting paid in the process? I've been doing it for half a decade and can tell you it's a no brainer. Give the people what they want.. and if somebody is willing to pay you to give your people what they want, that's like something out of that lottery ticket dream I had back when I was 22.
So I'm a music fan.. I like jazz (when driving with the kids it puts them to sleep), Hip-hop, R&B, Funk, Folk, Classic Rock, but lately I prefer rock - of the alternative and contemporary persuasion. I was recently vacationing in greater Los Angeles and listened to a lot of KROQ (K-Rock).. I sang till I was hoarse.. and I'm not a pretty singer. KROQ mixes 1990's alternative with Social Distortion, Incubus, Muse, Depeche Mode, System of a Down.. I love it all.. It's great driving music and I love to drive the freeways of LA. I'm thinking about writing and publishing a coffee table book on driving in Los Angeles.. seriously.. I like it that much :)
Anyway.. I'm sitting here tonight recreating the KROQ play-list from my trip on Youtube.. Songs load 'Google quick' (I've got two windows open), I'm mixing songs, dovetailing one into the next.. It suddenly occurs to me that this is better than Napster.
Yes, I know Mark Cuban said it could come to a crashing end tomorrow as everybody sues Youtube.. but Google is so powerful, and the music industry so beaten down by Russian / Chinese P2P networks and the Napster/RIAA suits that went nowhere that Google's rev share siren-call has labels often uploading the official hits themselves! I'm listening to legal music that the label uploaded for free! .. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Cuban ;)
From now on I'm doing the opposite of what Mark Cuban says.. Cuban says don't buy Youtube.. Google does and wins .. Cuban Says the "Internet is Dead" .. the Internet quietly ignores him and delivers its 50 trillionth page.. If Mark said "don't jump off that cliff" on his blog, I'd be tempted to go over because given Mark's recent calls .. an airbag with champagne and Playboy bunnies surely awaits the sucker that does ;)
This post wasn't to slag Cuban, who is a decent entrepreneur.. Passionately wrong about his last few publicly espoused ideas.. I just am struck by how Youtube is changing America.. and the World. Brian Depalma screening a gritty brutally honest war docu-drama about Iraq recently intimated that Youtube-like sites on the Internet are the last bastion of free-media in the US.. Most TV/News media is corporate today, controlled by shareholders, hamstrung through LBO debt and beholden to banks and bankers with agendas. Youtube is a mirror shining back on "You" it reflects our interests like a video search term suggestion tool and shines the truth if you dare to key-in the phrase you desire information on.
There's always a domain name related bent to my posts and this post is no different. As I searched for artist and song title on Youtube, the site often spat back the most visited video as the most relevant.. Lot's of people watching? It must be good! How could a domainer skew the videos viewed by uploading a video (say with a 10 second intromercial that you sell to advertisers on a CPM basis, then plumbing one's own traffic under a popular keyphrase (ie. 'Foo Fighters') to rank your Foo fighting video near the top?
Your organic domain name related traffic visitors to a site like "Musicnews.com" (an under-utilized name), serving a PPC site with an automatically executing Youtube video under a 'Foo Fighters' label.. With each repeat load (coming from tens of thousands of visitors across hundreds or thousands of individual names like musicnews.com) you build credibility, all while you sell flat-rate CPM advertising within your video (remember you're driving the traffic with your organic type-in traffic) and then serve PPC ads in a split screen format. In six months your generic domain names have delivered thousands or tens of thousands of loads to your Youtube video making it the most watched video on Youtube (eat your heart out "Korean guitar solo guy"), all while you've made flat rate CPM rates on your video intromercial and click-through PPC revenue on the split screen format paid search text links (through GOOG/YHOO/MSN or direct) to boot!
A music domain name vertical with 1000 generic music names generating 10,000 unique visits a day could drive 300,000 video's viewed a month (some of you could drive considerably more). Then create an "email this to a friend" box or ajax/flash popup on your page and watch those viral visits multiply with each video load and each passing week. I sincerely think there is massive untapped opportunity marrying the Youtube phenomenon with the effectively disposable visits which come to generic defensible domain names.
When a visitor shows up on your doorstep for nothing more than the keyword weight or gravity of the name they typed and you happen to own that domain name, you find yourself in the fortunate position of being able to kick-start a brand, create a site and show the people what you want.. all while growing something. Those who have to buy their traffic via PPC or through Arbitrage do not share in that luxury.
A running start to get your machine going.. and a do-over if you're wrong... Hmmmm There are times when being a slow learner (and a late-comer) aren't so bad. If you're in the domain business, this might be one of those times ;)