YouTube, TheyPay

In talking with Evan about final paper topics, I came across a rather surprising headline: in a recent report published by Credit Suisse, YouTube is projected to lose its parent company, Google, $470 million this year alone. Wait…huh?

YouTube in trouble?

YouTube in trouble?

Since when was one of the most visited websites in the world losing mad dollar? (I tried to find a ranking of most visited websites in the world, but there were so many lists from so many different sources I decided not to bother. YouTube, however, was consistently in the top 10.) How could a website visited from so many people be so unprofitable? The potential advertising revenues must be enormous, right?

Turns out, not exactly. The Slate article sights the fact that there’s a simple reason for advertisers shying away from YouTube: they “don’t like paying very much to support homemade photos and videos.” Apparently the video of Johnny hitting himself in the head with a piece of wood holds little advertising potential. Very few companies want to associate themselves with a lot of the, well, crap that is on the website.

So what will become of YouTube? The storage and transfer of millions of videos consumes massive amounts of cash and, so it seems, may not be a self sustaining business. YouTube sells ads on fewer than 10 percent of its videos, but must pay for playing 75 billion videos for roughly 375 million users in a year. There are concerns Facebook may run into similar issues storing every college students’ photo albums of drunken Wednesday shenanigans.

In my opinion, Facebook and YouTube are what we now could consider a public service. They help facilitate communication; record and share our life experiences; serve as educational tools; allow people to be more aware of the world they live in; etc. Could you imagine if Facebook of YouTube were suddenly shut down tomorrow? That’d suck! Vast amounts of information and data (yes, much of it irrelevant) would be lost.

So what will it take to keep YouTube alive? I’m not sure, although the Slate article offers a few suggestions. Maybe one extreme measure would be to subsidize the service…just a thought.

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4 Responses

  1. Did anyone see the clip of the dad who filmed his little son coming down from anesthesia after his dentist appointment? It got circulated around and everyone thought it was so funny, and then a few days later I heard the dad was being sued for inflicting humiliation upon his son without his consent. Youtube is great, but I do agree that there are a lot of opportunities for people to cross the line.

  2. I agree with Holly, there should be some guidelines or just plain common sense on what gets posted- but even common sense varies from each individual 🙂
    Another idea would be of youtube to charge a penny per video…as far as facebook charging, that is not such a good idea.

  3. I feel that it is not fair to compare Facebook to YouTube. They provide different services in my opinion. Yes, I know you can share videos on Facebook, but it also has many more features. It allows us to connect on a different level than YouTube does. It also has a leg up in the advertising realm. Very few websites can dig up information on you to provide direct marketing of products and services that you are interested in.

    I think one solution that may bring YouTube’s costs down would be to have a better way to sort through the videos. Many videos are posted multiple times. If they had some sort of review process they could limit the space taken up by not having multiple posts. They could also take out some of the malicious content or just plain crap that is on there.

  4. Maybe “subsidize” it by paying $2 a year?

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