Some analysts see a bleak future for the company. Josh Bernof of Forrester Research believes its only a matter of time before YouTube goes the way of the original Napster. Either it’s going to be sued and will lose, or the company will be forced to take down much of the content that users like: “when nearly every clip that has copyrighted content—music in the background, video of Bart Simpson, photos stolen from movie posters—is gone, YouTube’s going to be a lot less interesting.”
Update: Why YouTube is not (yet) the future of television from i, cringely
YouTube was fooling us. The company allowed we pundits to think it was broke because it worked to YouTube’s advantage to be perceived as broke. It was newsworthy, for one thing, and YouTube loves being in the news. Being broke made YouTube appear to be an underdog to the bigger boys like Google Video and Yahoo Video and consumers often like an underdog. And being broke strongly implied the company had shallow pockets, making it a less-than-desirable target for copyright infringement charges.
Update II: User-generated Web sites in clicks-to-cash dilemma from ZDNet (1.15.07)