Tuesday, August 23

Yousendit.com - where's the revenue?

We've all experienced the problem of how to share large files over the internet. Don't be coy, you know what I'm talking about: the 5Mb files your email server refuses to forward; the video of a Super Bowl ad you thought was hilarious, the MP3s of the album you love, the 5 megapixel photo albums from your holiday, or the PSDs your agency needs you to review before close of business today.

Turns out there's now an answer, which goes by the name of www.yousendit.com. It's quite straightforward - upload a file of up to 1GB to yousendit.com's servers, and you'll get a URL which you can email to a friend. The file will stay online for seven days, during which time your friend can download it at their leisure (and on Australian DSL, it may take up to seven days to download 1GB!)

Send the URL in an email to a friend, or get a version that you can add to your blog or website. You can even use a secure https server for those... ahem... saucy video previews and confidential company documents you're leaking.

It's all terribly convenient, and for the time-being, entirely free. My gut says when yousendit.com finally has to derive some revenue from this, they'll try to charge uploaders per Gb, and then freak when usage plummets. Then they might try an ad-supported model, and learn (as Yahoo! and Google will probably never admit) that you can't yet pay for raw HD storage with banner ads. And then they'll either get acquired by a major player looking for a new source of registered users, or flame-out. So my advice would be to start using yousendit.com now, before the model changes and/or the company goes toes-up.

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