YouTube Goes To Nine New Nations

    June 19, 2007

From our perspective, it’s going international.  From theirs, it’s becoming local.  But either way you look at it, YouTube is launching targeted sites for Ireland, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Japan, Brazil, and France.

“Video is universal and allows people around the world to communicate and exchange ideas,” explained Chad Hurley, a YouTube co-founder, to the BBC.  “Our mission is to entertain, inform and empower the world through video.”

And it appears that Hurley and YouTube have a lot of new friends to help them achieve that goal; the BBC reports, “YouTube has also unveiled content partners . . . including deals with France 24, Antena 3 in Spain, European football clubs such as AC Milan, Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid, as well as organisations such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.”

Of course, YouTube has long been available in the countries in which it’s now launching new sites, and the service has won a sizeable audience.  But this latest set of developments should help the video-sharing site gain even more traction, and as Steve Chen, YouTube’s other co-founder, said, “It’s not just about translating, it also about creating content unique to certain countries.”

For YouTube’s sake, it’s hopefully about avoiding lawsuits, as well.  The site’s legal troubles in the US are beginning to look insurmountable (at least in terms of the sheer volume of them), and the service has already encountered issues in Brazil.  A video filtering tool is supposedly on its way, and this expansion is interesting regardless of other circumstances, but the potential for problems has to make one wonder if it’s a wise move.