Mark Cuban, the billionaire founder of Broadcast.com, never learned to shut up. (That's why the Mavericks owner has been fined over $1.6 mil by the NBA for 13 incidents.) So instead of humbly accepting that he made his money by offloading his ridiculously overpriced video streaming company to Yahoo, he still tries to defend Broadcast.com's business potential. Eight years ago, writes Cuban, cwhen the company IPO'd, "We had full length audio books, full length CDs, full length movies, TV shows...We had preroll commercials. We had inserted commercials. We even inserted video commercials into audio files and streams [Whaaa?]. And user generated content ? Yep...Companies or individuals could upload full videos with synchronized slideshows and we even allows hot spots in the videos. And of course we gave you realitime statistics of how many people were watching your video..." We get the point — they had all that YouTube has and more. Tiny little difference: YouTube works.
In his defensive article, Cuban embedded a 1999 video about the site. There's one important shot in that video: A user selects from a range of bandwidths from 14.4K to 56.6K.
That's the first advantage YouTube has over Broadcast.com: Eight years ago, the millions of Internet users now on YouTube didn't have the high-speed connection needed for decent video. Broadcast's streams would come through in slow, stamp-sized video. It was crap, and it was no replacement for TV.
Of course, there was also the problem of formats; until flash video came a couple of years ago, users couldn't reliably view videos without guessing whether their computers would play Quicktime, Windows Media, or Real files. (This problem still hasn't disappeared.)
There are plenty of other reasons that Broadcast failed while YouTube thrives: Viewers weren't ready for video ads on the Internet, Broadcast's sports offerings were unequivocally worse than readily available sports TV, long-play web video still isn't viable eight years later, and Broadcast didn't promote user-created video the way Youtube does. And at YouTube, no one has to deal with a loudmouth boss like Mark Cuban.