While many have been claiming that Youtube’s failure to monetize fully is a sign of ingrained failure, it’s easy to underestimate their recent progress and upcoming achievements.
Google is used to such indifference, as many wrote off their search engine for far too long. From their perspective, however, I suspect that things appear to be going quite well.
For example, they have the internet’s largest video website site, the web’s largest “video” search engine, and, were it a search engine of it’s own, it would be the web’s second biggest, behind their own main index in first place, as Youtube’s search volume by itself it still larger than all of Yahoo’s!
So, in true Google style they’ve pursued growth over early monetisation leading detractors to argue to that they’re struggling to monetise the site and that they’re loosing the big brand bucks to smaller rivals such as Hulu.
On the other hand, Youtube has recently had several significant endorsements including association with Barak Obama’s presidential campaign, the Pope launching a Catholoacism channel and the incredible footage of the (thankfully successful) Hudson river crash that has reminded us of the value of user generated video to capture unexpected exents, not to mention it’s repeated blocking by China and Iran, among others, a clear sign of its international ‘appeal’.
So, it’s arguable that Youtube’s dominant market share and user generated comment makes it irresistible to many seeking a ‘cool’ social media angle to their campaigns.
Moreover, there have been some pessimistic reports from Forester Research, Credit Suisse and the like suggesting that Youtube’s revenue may not cover its escalating costs – as its usage and hence storage and bandwidth requirements continue to rise – for years, however, those reports invariably fail to account for the step changes in performance that occur when improved advertising mechanisms, such as click-to-buy (as in click on the video to go to the sponsors page), are rolled out.
Google has managed to help many webmasters to monetise their own websites, as well as caching in on their own domains and so, with such a vested interest in Youtube’s future, you can be sure that the recent changes to facilitate Youtube advertisers that they are enthusing about including both new ad placements and improved web analytics are just the start.