clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mark Cuban Is Still a YouTube Hater: 'What Have They Done Right?' (Video)

"They tried to do subscriptions. Failed."

Asa Mathat
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Eight years ago, billionaire entrepreneur and sports owner Mark Cuban said “moronic” would be an understated description of a potential Google acquisition of YouTube. In 2015, with YouTube as the biggest home to video on the Web, Cuban isn’t backing off his stance.

“They tried to do subscriptions. Failed,” Cuban said in an onstage interview at the Code/Media conference on Wednesday evening at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Calif. “Now they’re trying again. They’re trying to do music.”

“What have they done right?” he said, also mentioning YouTube’s mostly failed initiative to pay media companies and actors and actresses to create highly produced content for the site.

Cuban, the entrepreneur-turned-owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” is not an unbiased observer. He made his fortune by selling to Yahoo for $5.7 billion during the height of the dot-com bubble in 1999. But came along too soon to last, and Cuban still seems bitter that YouTube was able to persist despite serious copyright issues.

So how does he explain YouTube’s popularity among teens and the rise of legitimate YouTube stars?

“Out of sheer numbers, you’re going to find something that resonates with a large audience at some point,” Cuban said in the interview with Re/code’s Peter Kafka and Walt Mossberg.

When he wasn’t throwing jabs at Google and YouTube, Cuban was waxing poetic about what he gets out of his role on “Shark Tank.” He doesn’t do it for the fame, he said. Nor for the money, which he definitely doesn’t need. It’s all about the audience that it appeals to.

“It’s the No. 1 show in all of television watched by families together,” Cuban said, because it shows “the American dream is alive and well.”

Here are some video highlights of the conversation:

This article originally appeared on